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Saturday Sep 19 2020
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Nawaz, Zardari's APC address to be broadcast live on social media: PPP

Former president Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif to both attend APC virtually. Photo: file

ISLAMABAD: PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and PPP chairman Asif Ali Zardari will address the opposition's All Parties Conference tomorrow (Sunday) via video link and it will be broadcast live on social media, the PPP said on Saturday.

"The PPP will provide a link on social media where the two leaders will deliver opening remarks," the party said in a statement.

It added that following the conference, a media briefing will be held.

Responding to a tweet regarding the broadcast being aired on all major social media platforms, PML-N's Maryam Nawaz said: "We are doing that Insha'Allah."

The announcement of a live broadcast comes even as Prime Minister Imran Khan's aide on political communication Shahbaz Gill warned the PML-N that if Nawaz's address is aired on social media, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and other laws will be used to take action against him.

Meanwhile, PPP's Qamar Zaman Kaira, in a press conference announced that the venue for the conference, which the party is hosting, had been changed to Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.

He said that the conference will chalk out the final plan to oust the "hollow" government.

"It is clear the government knows full well how hollow it is from within," the PML-N leader said. "The crutches it is on will not save the government. The real support comes from the people."

Besides the PPP and PML-N, Asfandyar Wali's Awami National Party (ANP), Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahman's Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) are expected to attend, besides others. Jamat-e-Islami (JI) will not attend.

PPP chairman extends formal invitation to JUI-F chief

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari gave a formal invitation to JUI-F chief Fazl-ur-Rahman during a meeting at the latter's residence, sources informed Geo News.

During the meeting, Senator Abdul Kareem, Shah Owais Noorani, Yousuf Raza Gilani, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Akram Durrani and Maulana Ataur Rehman were present.

The meeting discussed tomorrow's APC among other matters.

Following the meeting, Bilawal said that a very "wholesome" and "detailed" discussion took place between both parties. He said that Fazl had accepted his invitation to attend the conference.

"We will hold a joint press conference following the APC and our next course of action will be announced then," he told reporters.

Bilawal thanks Mengal for BNP-M's support

Separately, Bilawal spoke to Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) chief Akhtar Mengal to inquire of his health and to thank him for his support.

Bilawal expressed his gratitude for Mengal's decision to send a delegation of the party for participation in the APC.

Nawaz accepts Bilawal's invitation

Earlier, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari's spokesperson Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar revealed that Nawaz had accepted Bilawal's invitation to virtually attend the conference.

He disclosed that Nawaz and the PPP chairman had also discussed the political situation of the country and the future course of action to take by opposition parties.

In a tweet, Bilawal said that former president Asif Ali Zardari will also attend the conference via video link.

Earlier, sources had told Geo News that Nawaz had accepted Bilawal's invitation and would attend the conference after the latter enquired after the former's  health.

"Just spoke to Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif. Enquired about his health. Also invited him to virtually attend opposition APC, hosted by PPP, on 20th September," the PPP chairman had tweeted.

Responding to Bilawal's tweet, PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz thanked the PPP chairman.

"Thank you Bilawal. Warm regards & prayers," she had tweeted.

Opposition parties including the PPP, PML-N and the JUI-F have said that they will use the platform to try to come up with a joint strategy focused on ousting the incumbent government.

PML-N finalises names for APC delegation

The PML-N on Saturday revealed the names of party members who will form the delegation that will represent it at the APC.

Party spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb confirmed that she will represent the party at the APC along with PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khawaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Pervaiz Rashid, Maryam Nawaz, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Rana Sanaullah and Amir Muqam.

New election or in-house change?

The opposition parties had decided to convene an APC on September 20 after a Rahbar Committee meeting comprising leaders from all opposition parties decided that it was time to show the incumbent government the door.

"The situation in the country has reached a stage where we cannot afford even a moment's delay," JUI-F's Durrani had said.

"We want free and fair elections in the country, with no interference whatsoever," he had further said, terming the 2018 general elections "a disgrace to the whole country".

Durrani had said that opposition parties were on the same page that giving the incumbent government one more day in power would be unjust. "This government has destroyed the country in its two years" of rule, he added.

The upcoming APC, he had said, would decide on the future plan of action as the opposition leaders had already made up their minds on numerous issues that the country was facing.

"The APC will decide whether there will be a new election or an in-house change," he had said.