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Sunday May 19 2019

In major meeting, Opposition parties decide to hold APC post-Eid


ISLAMABAD: The Opposition parties on Sunday decided to hold an All Parties Conference (APC) after Eid-ul-Fitr in a major huddle hosted by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the federal capital to formulate a strategy against the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari noted that the APC would be convened by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and discuss the Opposition's future course-of-action with regard to putting up a front against the Prime Minister Imran Khan's government.

"The Opposition parties will continue to meet for iftars and at various other instances," Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said during a press conference held at the Zardari House post-meeting. "We will stage protests inside and outside the Parliament," he added.

According to the PPP chair, every political party has its own mission and vision and, therefore, "no single political party can resolve the issues that Pakistan faces right now".

He added that the assortment of leaders talked about political, economic, democratic, and human rights issues.

The PPP supremo said all parties would also hold separate protests against what he termed were the disastrous policies adopted by the incumbent leadership.

Fazlur Rehman, the JUI-F chief, said the APC would be called in a bid to reach a consensus over the shared causes and course-of-action.

'People have lost all hopes'

Additionally, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the former PM and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) stalwart said the opposition believed that the government has failed to deliver. Other party leaders, including Maryam Nawaz and Hamza Shehbaz, also attended the meeting.

"We didn't talk about the ongoing self-proclaimed accountability. We will face it," he said. "The government has failed to resolve public issues. The people have lost all hopes." 

The Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement's (PTM) Mohsin Dawar said the matters of the state should be run as according per the Constitution. "The state of Pakistan can no more run by defying the Constitution.

"We all have consensus over one point that all policies should be made by the Parliament."

Among other leaders attending the iftar dinner were Aftab Sherpao, Liaquat Baloch, PTM leaders, and Shah Awais Noorani. Akhtar Mengal, Mahmood Khan Achazkzai and Asfandyar Wali Khan, however, excused themselves from attending the meeting due to prior personal commitments.

'Selective accountability'

Separately, Maryam Nawaz, the PML-N leader, also addressed media personnel following the Opposition leaders' meeting.

"The National Accountability Bureau [NAB] is carrying out selective accountability," she said. The anti-graft body "ignores the flats of those for whom the amnesty scheme has been introduced", she added.

Stressing that the NAB's reality had completely been laid bare in front of everyone, she said the institution had lost its authenticity.

The watchdog's "law was being used to suppress the leaders of the Opposition," she stated, adding that what the world knew now about it was enough.

'Blackmailing through economic crisis'

On the other hand, PM Khan reacted to the news of major huddle of the opposition parties, saying the "corrupt, political mafia" was blackmailing through the economy.

There should be no surprise over Maryam Nawaz meeting Bilawal, Khan said, adding that people would not support corrupt factions. He mentioned that in the near future, exports, remittances, and the economy would grow.

Firdous Ashiq Awan, the special assistant to the PM on information and broadcasting, said the political imposters had been deceiving the unsuspecting nation since years. She alleged that these people were utilising an agenda for their business venture and, today, would think about saving the Omni Group. 

Meanwhile, State Minister Hammad Azhar said Maryam Nawaz had virtually sidelined Hamza Shehbaz by taking the centre stage today. 

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