Plea to PPP and ANP to rejoin Pakistani opposition alliance

The chief of the opposition alliance in Pakistan has asked two constituents, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Awami National Party (ANP), to “reconsider” their decision of quitting the alliance but declared that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) will continue its struggle even if the two parties do not return to its fold, according to a report in Dawn

Apr 14, 2021
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The chief of the opposition alliance in Pakistan has asked two constituents, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Awami National Party (ANP), to “reconsider” their decision of quitting the alliance but declared that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) will continue its struggle even if the two parties do not return to its fold, according to a report in Dawn.

Chief of his own faction of the Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F), Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who is also the PDM president, termed the reaction of the two parties to the show-cause notices issued to them for allegedly violating the PDM’s unanimous decision “immature and not in keeping with their political stature and experience”.

 “They (PPP and ANP) still have an opportunity to review their decisions and approach the PDM. We can remove their grievances when we will sit together,” said the Maulana while talking to reporters after presiding over the first meeting of the alliance after withdrawal of PPP and ANP from the alliance here on Tuesday.

After the decisions of the PPP and ANP to leave the opposition’s alliance, the PDM has now been reduced to an eight-party alliance. However, Tuesday’s meeting was attended by the leaders of five parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the National Party and Qaumi Watan Party, Dawn reported.

The JUI-F chiefsaid the PPP and ANP should not have made the show-cause notices an issue of “self-respect” and they should have responded to the notices in a “dignified manner”.

The two parties, he said, could have called for convening a meeting of the heads of the PDM or the steering committee to explain their viewpoint and resolve the matter. However, he regretted, the PPP and ANP chose to respond to the notices through the media.

“It was through the media that we came to know about the statements of the leaders of the two parties questioning the legitimacy of the notices and tearing up of the notice,” said the Maulana in response to the reports that PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari during the two-day meeting of his party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) in Karachi had torn apart the show-cause notice, thus showing the party’s clear intentions that it was no more interested to rejoin the alliance.

The ANP had already announced on April 5 that it was withdrawing from the PDM in protest over issuance of the show-cause notice to it for supporting Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani’s candidature for the office of the opposition leader in the Senate.

Speaking at a news conference in Peshawar, ANP’s Ameer Haider Hoti had also announced that the party members had resigned from the PDM offices.

Confirming that he had received the resignations of the PPP and ANP leaders, Maulana Fazlur Rehman said he had not accepted them yet as he wanted to give another chance to both the parties.

He said at a time when Pakistan was “economically sinking” and the people of the country were suffering and facing miseries, they would not make decisions on the basis of personal benefits or losses.

Responding to a question about Bhutto-Zardari’s allegations that some PDM parties were trying to blackmail his party, the Maulana taunted the young PPP chairman over his inexperience in politics by saying: “This is the difference between the age of 35 years and 70 year

However, ignoring the Maulana’s call, PPP’s information secretary Faisal Karim Kundi in a video message said if the Maulana wanted reconciliation then he should tell them as to “who wanted to club the resignations with the long march and who is responsible for not complying with the PDM’s action plan”.

(SAM)

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