The PML-N has adopted the stance that until the PPP and ANP clarify their stance on seeking help from the BAP – an allied party of the ruling PTI – during the Senate polls, alliance with both the parties on the PDM platform is not possible.
Serious differences emerged between the PPP and the PML-N when the former appointed Yusuf Raza Gilani as the leader of the opposition in Senate, apparently, in violation of what had earlier been agreed upon in a PDM meeting.
The turmoil between the two deepened when PDM issued an “explanation letter” to the PPP and the ANP and when five opposition parties formed a separate bloc of 27 opposition senators in Senate.
Resultantly, the PPP and the ANP parted ways with the PDM by submitting their leaders’ resignations from all posts of the 10-party anti-government alliance which was formed in September 2020 to oust the government and curtail the role of the establishment in politics.
On Wednesday, sources said that a confidant of PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari – Senator Qayyum Soomro – had met PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman thrice in the last three days.
Both discussed the future of the PDM and the differences between the PPP and the PML-N.
Zardari gives tough time Nawaz
Although the PDM was created with an apparent purpose to topple Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government, yet the main opposition parties i.e. PPP and PML-N now seem to victims of internal fights as a result of ruthless power politics.
The ruling party has persistently argued that this alliance of the opposition parties is “unnatural” and cannot sustain. PM’s Special Assistant Usman Dar said in a talk-show that the alliance is without any ideology and has no potential to threaten the government. “You will soon witness their internal fights,” he said.
Notably, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday mocked PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and said that “there is a family in Lahore who used to get selected in the past”. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari gave this statement while talking to the media after meeting with Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq in Lahore.
Similarly, sources and media reports said Zardari during the meeting asked Nawaz to return to Pakistan before the joint opposition could go with the nuclear option of resigning from the assemblies in order to mount pressure on the PTI-led government.
The crucial session of the PDM was held amid divisions within the alliance over the issue of submitting resignations from the assemblies at a time when its planned long march was just two weeks away.
Zardari, who like Nawaz addressed the meeting virtually, reportedly told the PML-N chief: “Mian sahab, we will hand over the resignations to you when you return home.”
Nawaz has been living in London since November 2019 after he was allowed to leave the country for medical treatment.
Zardari further said if Nawaz wanted the opposition parties to resign en masse, “then not only us, but everyone will have to go to jail”.
Talking about this month’s hotly contested Senate elections, Zardari said the opposition parties had challenged the government in the polls but regretted that PML-N Senator-elect Ishaq Dar, who is living in the UK in self-exile, had not participated in the voting, according to reports.
“Nawaz Sharif sahib, return to the country along with Ishaq Dar; we will fight together,” the PPP leader was quoted as saying during the meeting.