Tuesday Mar 16, 2021
ISLAMABAD: The Opposition alliance's meeting to finalise their strategy regarding the upcoming long march towards Islamabad and whether or not to resign from assemblies is underway.
PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz took to Twitter to announce that the meeting has begun.
The leaders of the Pakistan Democratic Movement are sitting together in the federal capital to review the political situation in the country after the recently-held Senate polls and by-elections, which, according to them have shaken the ruling party.
The contentious point of the agenda would be the resignation from assemblies which has put the PPP at loggerheads with PML-N and JUI-F who had been calling to quit since December. The PPP, however, has been convincing them to opt for an in-house change and use the resignation strategy as a “last resort”.
Speaking to the media on Monday, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said he personally felt that the cards played by the PDM within Parliament had paid off.
“The opposition’s resignations should be used like an ‘atom bomb’,” he said and suggested that the PDM should focus on the card of no-confidence motion and options within parliament.
The PPP chairman said that their struggle has entered the final phase as the government’s majority in the upper and lower houses of parliament has been exposed.
On the other hand, PDM President and JUI-F Ameer Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz have reiterated that resignation from the assemblies is important if the long march is to be made effective.
Speaking to journalists in Peshawar, the JUI-F chief said the strategy related to the long march — which is scheduled to take place on March 26 — will be finalised during the PDM's meeting on Tuesday.
“It is my personal opinion that if the Opposition MNAs and MPAs do not submit their resignations, then the long march may not be effective," Fazl said.
Fazl said that in the past, members of different parties "misused their votes" but the betrayal of a single party member does not weaken the stance of the Opposition.
Replying to a question, Fazl said that "party loyalties are probably changing because there might be some sort of pressure behind it."
"There might be greed or threats involved [because of which people traded loyalties]. Someone must be behind it," Fazl concluded.
Meanwhile, addressing the media in Lahore after attending the PML-N meeting, Maryam Nawaz said PDM's meeting would make it clear where the Opposition parties stood on the resignations. "We will try to persuade those who do not agree to resigning," she added.
"The PDM is a coalition of 10 parties and remains united on a larger agenda," she said, noting that her party, the PML-N, stood for principle and was together under Nawaz Sharif's leadership.