Nawaz Sharif seeks Asif Zardari’s help to defeat establishment?

The two leaders reportedly discussed the future course of action as their earlier plan has apparently failed to get them the intended outcomes. Will PDM take a tougher stance?

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In a major political development on Thursday the Co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party Asif Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supremo Nawaz Sharif held a telephonic conversation over current political matters, ARY News reported. The two leaders reportedly discussed the future course of action as their earlier plan has apparently failed to get them the intended outcomes.

According to the details reported on the matter via sources, both political leaders Asif Zardari who is in Karachi and Nawaz Sharif who left for Britain for his medical treatment but has never returned despite court orders, have held talks.

Sources claim that Nawaz insisted on getting a more aggressive and tough response from the PPP leadership in order to put more pressure on the military leadership for a deal. It is not clear if the former president has agreed to ‘cross the red line’.

Muhammad Malick, a prominent Pakistani journalist, has revealed that “the top army brass is under no internal pressure to create space for opposition parties”. While speaking to Nasim Zehra on channel 24, Malick maintained that the narrative projected by Nawaz Sharif and Maulana Fazalur Rehman won’t be of any use in the long run. “To be fair, this narrative can create some excitement but it is not sustainable,” he said.

PDM has been seen carrying an anti-establishment narrative since its creations. Nawaz Sharif named the Army Chief and DG ISI for political engineering in the country. “General Bajwa is responsible for installing incompetent Imran Khan,” he said while addressing PDM rally from London.

However, former DG ISI, retired Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam, has said he never asked for the resignation of former premier and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif in 2014. “I never sent anyone to convey any such message to [Nawaz], this is absolutely wrong,” he said while speaking to The News.

Nawaz’s received mixed reactions. Prominent anchorperson Rauf Klasra revealed that “I spoke with some senior PML-N leaders and they are shocked to watch Nawaz vilifying the army”.

He also said that the senior leadership of the party now thinks that “we may not be able to do politics in this situation”.

Read more: PDM is upping the ante in its mission to overthrow Imran Khan’s government

There is also another view that if the current army chief was behind Nawaz’s removal as the prime minister then why did his party vote to grant an extension to the same person? Does it imply that a deal was underway but some unexpected circumstances led Nawaz to vilify the establishment?

Zardari wants PDM to focus on Imran

It is important to note that Asif Ali Zardari has already said during the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) meeting that the coalition should be clear about its goals and should not open up new fronts, reported GEO News.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also said that he was shocked to hear Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif directly accusing military leadership during his speech in Pakistan Democratic Movement‘s (PDM) Gujranwala rally.

In an interview with BBC, the PPP leader said that taking names of military leaders was Nawaz Sharif’s personal choice. It was decided in the PDM agenda to use the ‘establishment’ word and not to take the name of any national institution, he said.

Notably, PDM is an alliance of about a dozen parties headed by Maulana Fazl ur Rehman of JUI-F. Some analysts are of the view that it is like the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) created to fight military ruler Zia-ul-Haq and the Alliance for Restoration of Democracy (ARD) against Gen Pervez Musharraf.

Will PDM fail?

The PDM has announced a 26 point charter of demands which among other things seeks end of the establishment’s role in politics, production of missing persons, end of media restrictions, reduction in prices of commodities of everyday use, and the resignation of PM Imran Khan in 10 days followed by free and transparent elections.

Read more: PDM is upping the ante in its mission to overthrow Imran Khan’s government

Hassan Askari Rizvi, a political analyst who served as a senior official during the 2018 polls, said during a talk-show on Dunya TV that “the movement will likely involve more rhetoric than action”. Dr. Rizvi was of the view that the opposition parties won’t be able to stay united as many of them have “competing and contradictory interests”.


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