Opposition agrees to adopt joint strategy, give tough time to govt

Arshad Waheed Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD: Opposition leaders agreed on Tuesday to adopt a joint strategy inside and outside Parliament and to give a tough time to the government on crucial matters.

A meeting of leaders of opposition parties took place today on the invitation of Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Naveed Qamar also attended the meeting.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Asadur Rehman, Awami National Party’s Amir Haider Khan Hoti and other opposition leaders were in attendance at the meeting in Shehbaz’s chambers.

In the meeting today, the opposition leaders decided to form a committee to have their concerns represented and also to challenge the government’s stance.

The leaders also agreed to take a hard stance on financial matters and to raise the issue inside the House sessions.

The opposition in the meeting today decided to give minimum working space to the PTI government. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari announced to review the Charter of Democracy by adding other political parties to become its signatory.

PPP leader Zardari appeared to be in an aggressive mode, the former president urged opposition to change the Senate's tally in its favour and to launch a protest movement against the government after the winter season. 

Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif spoke to media after the meeting and said that dishonourable terms such as thief etc are used for opposition leaders.

He said that the committee will raise important issues with the government included that of the military courts.

Shehbaz Sharif said that inflation, unemployment and other important issues are getting out of hand and no foreign investors are ready to invest in the country.

Following the meeting, a journalist asked former president Zardari if the opposition leaders have united over issues, to which he responded that they have.

Bilawal Bhutto also seconded Zardari’s statements of opposition leaders agreeing to form a joint committee. 

Earlier as Zardari arrived at the Parliament House, he was asked to comment on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement that the NA walkout by the opposition was a "pressure tactic to seek a National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO)”. The PPP president in response said, "Opposition has been staging a walkout since day one, why will we seek an NRO?"

"The government is not in a position to give anything and we don't need an NRO," he added.