Friday May 28 2021
Web Desk

No party has the right to expel another from PDM, Shahbaz Sharif says

Web Desk

PDM chief  PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman  (left) and PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif addressing a press conference in Islamabad, on May 28, 2021. Photo: Geo News Screengrab

  • PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif meets PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman ahead of tomorrow's much-awaited meeting.
  • Shahbaz says PDM meeting will discuss budget that will be presented by the government next month and the situation in Afghanistan.
  • PML-N president also clarifies inviting PPP to the dinner party for the Opposition.   

Amid attempts to bring back PPP and ANP into the Pakistan Democratic Movement's fold, the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif on Friday said that no party has the right to kick out another from the alliance.

The PML-N president was addressing a press conference in Islamabad alongside PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman after the two met today ahead of tomorrow's much-awaited meeting of the alliance. 

"No party has the right to bring or kick another party out [of the allaince]. PDM is a forum and decisions are taken with consensus," said Shahbaz when asked about the PPP and ANP. 

He also explained to reporters that when the consultations are completed and a decision is taken then the president of the alliance announces the future course of action. 

Read more: Cracks appear within PML-N over party leadership, say sources

When the reporters pressed the PML-N president about his stance on the two parties' returns, he clarified that he does not have a "personal opinion" and whatever he says is always the "party's opinion".

The former Punjab CM also shared with the media personnel the agenda for tomorrow's PDM meeting. He said that meeting that will be chaired by Maulana Fazlur Rehman will discuss the country’s political situation. 

Shahbaz said the alliance will also discuss the budget that will be presented by the PTI government next month and the situation in Afghanistan.  

'PDM had no link with dinner for Opposition'

The PML-N president also clarified on the PPP's invite to the dinner party held for the Opposition by him.

Shahbaz said that his party had invited parliamentary leaders of all opposition parties to the dinner and the "PDM had no link with it".

"We had invited parliamentary heads in NA and Senate and as I am the leader of the opposition and it was my responsibility," said Shahbaz. He also added that the dinner was held to discuss how the Opposition could adopt a "joint strategy" against the government ahead of their budget and exposed their "massive failures in all areas" in Parliament.

The Opposition leader then slammed that ruling party for their "failures", saying that they speak about the state of Madina every day but do not implement "anything". 

Read more: PDM meeting to be held May end, decide Fazl and Shehbaz Sharif

Meanwhile, PDM President Fazl said that the Shahbaz had arrived at his residence to inquire about his health.

The former Punjab CM's arrival at the PDM chief's residence was expected. 

Earlier today, it was reported that Shahbaz and Fazl would meet to discuss the strategy and future course for the Opposition alliance.

The PDM is scheduled to hold an important meeting of party chiefs tomorrow and take important decisions on whether the PPP and the ANP will be taken back into the alliance's fold or not.

Fazl will host Shahbaz and the others for dinner tonight where the two discussed the PDM's strategy for the coming days and the PPP, ANP's possible inclusion into the alliance.

Read more: PDM may invite PPP, ANP back to alliance after Eid

On the other hand, as per reports, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is also establishing contacts with PDM parties. The PPP chairperson recently went to Dubai where he met Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) chief Akhtar Mengal.

The PML-N president has been focusing his efforts on bringing the PPP and the ANP back into the PDM fold to put pressure on the government once again.

According to veteran Geo News anchor and journalist Shahzeb Khanzada, the gulf in the PML-N leadership seems to be widening over the party's narrative and other issues.

Khanzada said during his show ‘Aaj Khanzada Kay Sath’ that the group in the party being led by Maryam wants to move forward with her father's narrative.

On the other hand, another group that favours Shahbaz's stance of reconciliation is backing the younger Sharif's stance of reconciliation with the PPP and the powers that be, to win the general elections 2023.

Read more: Fazl initiates attempts to bridge gap between PPP, PDM, say sources

Another bone of contention between the two leaders is, as per sources, the issue of the PPP leaving the PDM. Shahbaz has taken exception to the rigid stance adopted by Maryam and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on the issue.

As per sources, Shahbaz had been displeased over how the issue was handled and wondered why the PPP was pressurised if it was not in favour of resigning from the assemblies.

PPP, ANP can rejoin PDM if they apologise: Fazl

Earlier this week, Fazl had said the PPP and ANP can rejoin the alliance if they apologised to the PDM for going against its decisions.

The PDM chief's comments came during his meeting with PML-N President and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif at the latter's residence in Lahore on Tuesday.

Read more: PPP to attend Shehbaz Sharif's dinner party for opposition parties

Fazl, addressing a press conference after the meeting, said both parties — PPP and ANP — had been given sufficient time to get back to the PDM leadership, but they have not done so.

"There are currently no proposals to invite PPP and ANP at the PDM meeting on May 29," he had said. However, during the meeting, the leaders will decide the future of PPP and ANP in the alliance.

The fallout

On April 6, the ANP, and on April 11, the PPP had parted ways with the PDM after the latter served it a show-cause notice — as PPP had gotten Yousuf Raza Gilani appointed as the leader of the Opposition in the Senate, going against PDM's decisions, and ANP supported it.

Read more: PML-N, Fazlur Rehman wish to see PTI complete its 5-year tenure, PPP alleges

PPP was asked to explain its move to get appointed its candidate, Gillani, as Leader of Opposition in Senate, without first obtaining the consent of parties of the Opposition alliance.

ANP, on the other hand, was issued a notice for supporting the PPP in its efforts to get Gillani designated by roping in senators from the government's ally Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) to complete the numbers required.