Monday Sep 21, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The opposition's All Parties Conference (APC) on Sunday could not reach a final decision on mass resignation from assemblies due to a difference of opinion among major parties, insider accounts reveal.
According to sources, there was heated debate on resigning from the provincial and national assemblies and the matter was discussed at length between the leaders of the major parties attending.
However, the decision to quit the assemblies was ultimately abandoned even though PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif at one point in the discussions offered to submit their party's resignations to each other.
Bilawal had offered that he submit his party's resignations to Nawaz, who could then present the entire opposition’s resignations to the National Assembly Speaker upon his return to Pakistan, sources informed Geo News.
The PML-N supremo, when presented with the offer, said he was not against the idea but wished to first put the PTI-led government under pressure before opting for the step.
"You give me the PPP's resignations and I will give you the PML-N's resignations and you can then hand over all of them to JUI-F's Maulana Fazlur Rehman," Nawaz reportedly said in response.
Sources said the JUI-F chief then debated the matter extensively with the leaders of the various opposition parties but there were some disagreements over the execution of the strategy.
According to sources, the opposition ultimately failed to agree on the matter.
It was decided in the meeting that those lawmakers who are known for jumping ship would not be invited back to the fold of the parties present.
Opposition parties had on Sunday decided to launch the Pakistan Democratic Movement — a drive to eventually topple the government beginning with the demand that Prime Minister Imran Khan immediately resign from his post.
According to a statement issued by the APC a day prior, joint rallies will be held in October and November 2020 in Pakistan's major cities, including the provincial capitals Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar and Lahore.
In the second phase, set to commence in December 2020, large public rallies and demonstrations would be organised in the provincial capitals, while in January 2021, a decisive long march will head towards Islamabad.