Post-PDM scenario: Can PPP and PML-N go together?

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that "the things that Bilawal Bhutto is saying is not going to re-establish the party's trust in the PDM". Will PPP and PML-N go together?

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Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) secretary-general and former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday said that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto must adopt a responsible attitude when issuing statements, adding that the PDM does not need to issue an apology to anyone.

He was referring to PPP’s announcement earlier today to resign from all positions of the PDM in response to a show-cause notice served to the party. PPP chairman Bilawal had also asked the PDM to “apologise to the PPP and the ANP for showing an obnoxious attitude.”

Speaking during Geo, Abbasi said no one is going to issue an apology to the PPP, adding the party has tried to damage the narrative of the PDM, so it should clarify its position. “Once the PPP clarifies its actions, the PDM would decide whether to continue its alliance with the party or not,” Abbasi said.

He went on to say that the PPP must reestablish its trust in the PDM if it wants to continue being a part of the alliance.  “The things that Bilawal Bhutto is saying is not going to re-establish the party’s trust in the PDM,” Abbasi said, adding that any party which fails to keep its word cannot survive within the PDM.

“PPP must clarify its position”

Regarding PPP’s Yousuf Raza Gilani’s appointment as the Leader of the Senate — a move which caused rifts within the Opposition’s multi-party alliance — Abbasi said that had the PPP taken the PDM into confidence and expressed its desire to hold offices, [things would have been different].

“The next meeting of the PDM will be held under the chairmanship of Maulana Fazlur Rehman,” the general secretary said, adding that the PDM will create a strategy related to the future course of action.

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Responding to a question, Abbasi said that the PPP has its own strategy and choices, therefore, it is entitled to make decisions as it sees fit. “If the PPP want to clarify its statements, then it is free to do so. Otherwise, the PDM will make an announcement following the next meeting,” Abbasi said.

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.

Read more: PTI goes to the SC over PML-N foreign funding

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.

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