Wednesday Sep 15, 2021
Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Wednesday slammed PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari for criticising the Opposition alliance and asked him to move a no-confidence motion against Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar.
"Why aren't such people, who keep criticising us for not resigning from assemblies, moving a no-confidence motion [against CM Buzdar]?" the PDM chief asked, while addressing a press conference in Hub.
Responding to a question over PPP seeking to bring a change in Punjab, he said: "People who keep humming about no-confidence, if they think it is a wise option, they should move on it; why are they sitting idly?"
"There can be no greater nonsense than seeking a no-confidence motion with six members sitting [in Punjab Assembly]," Fazl said while slamming PPP.
Last month, the Opposition alliance's chief had said that PPP had "stabbed the PDM in the back", as he addressed a press conference.
Fazl, speaking at the press conference in Karachi alongside Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif and other political party leaders, had told reporters to not discuss PPP as it was "a thing of the past".
Last week, launching an attack on the alliance, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had said PML-N's "duplicitous policy" can no longer work, as he asked the party to "respect" the vote and use it against the government.
"Your duplicitous policy will no longer work, either you should play your role as an Opposition party or accept that you are the government's facilitators," the PPP chairman said as he addressed a workers' convention in Rahim Yar Khan.
Bilawal said his party would force PML-N to play its role as an Opposition party and oust Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar.
"You cannot back out from using your vote [against the government] after seeking respect for [people's votes]."
The PPP chairman said the Opposition should unite and struggle against the government, as he predicted that Buzdar was a mere "puppet" and he would be sent packing soon.
"The people will never forgive you [PML-N] if you back out now [...] you will have to do something now, otherwise your hypocrisy will be exposed before the people of Punjab," Bilawal said.
The PDM, a multi-party Opposition alliance, was formed on September 20, 2020 with a view to oust the PTI-led government.
After a successful first few weeks of campaigning, that saw mass rallies convene all across Pakistan, rifts began to emerge, around the time of the Senate elections.
At the forefront of the tensions are the PPP and PML-N — considered the two biggest Opposition parties in Pakistan — ever since PPP's Yousaf Raza Gillani was appointed Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.
Gillani's appointment drew the ire of PDM, which said that the move was made without its blessing.
PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz maintains that at the time of the Senate chairman election, it was "decided" that with the PPP running for the seat, the PML-N will be given the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate position.
PPP, however, rounded up 30 senators to get its own candidate, Gillani appointed to the Opposition leader position.
The numbers comprised 21 senators from the PPP itself, 2 senators from the Awami National Party, 1 senator of the Jamaat-i-Islami, 2 independents from FATA and a group of 4 'independents' led by Senator Dilawar Khan that had broken away from the Balochistan Awami Party to support Gillani's candidature.
Over seeking the support of government allies (members of BAP), the PDM then issued show-cause notices to the PPP, as well as ANP, a move that was considered highly offensive by both parties and resulted in them quitting the alliance.
Mudslinging between both parties, following the break up, has continued and the rift seems to be widening over time.
In the NA-249 by-election in Karachi, the PPP and PML-N fielded their separate candidates with PPP's Abdul Qadir Mandokhel winning the race. PML-N accused the PPP of stealing the election.
PPP, in turn, demanded proof of the allegations and went so far as to name the PML-N as the "original selected" and "only second to PTI in its selectedness".
PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who is from the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl faction, has on several occasions said he wishes to give PPP and ANP a chance to return to the fold.
In the latest report of him attempting to bridge the gap between the parties, it was said close to Eid-ul-Fitr, that the PDM chief may make an attempt to invite PPP and ANP back into the fold after Eid.
The PML-N president, too, has been focusing his efforts on bringing the PPP and the ANP back, in order to more effectively put pressure on the government once again.
Shahbaz, ahead of the last major PDM meeting, in May, had said at a press conference: "No party has the right to bring or kick another party out [of the alliance]. PDM is a forum and decisions are taken with consensus."