ISLAMABAD: The All Parties Conference (APC) in its second meeting on Thursday failed to evolve any joint strategy v is-à-vis alleged rigging and formed a 16-member committee to come up with a future course of action in the next 48 hours.
It is the second consecutive such meeting that has failed to forge any unified strategy due to internal differences on the mode and manner of the blueprint.
The previous session of the huddle convened by the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) on July 27 also faced a similar situation as the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) not only avoided the moot but also opposed boycotting the assemblies.
Apart from the PML-N and the PPP, smaller political groups including the Awami National Party (ANP), the MMA, the National Party, Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) attended the huddle.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan did not participate this time after joining hands with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
On Thursday, at speaker’s residence the meeting ended within two hours and first former information minister of PML-N Marriyum Aurangzeb came out with a list of 16 committee members — three each from major political parties and two each from smaller parties.
She said the committee will finalise its terms of reference (ToRs) soon and it would chalk out a strategy against the “historic rigging” and protest inside and outside parliament.
“It is our luck that we will have the opportunity to tell the PTI how a democratic and sane opposition functions in and outside parliament,” she said adding that it had been decided to sit in the house instead of boycotting the assemblies.
“We will not give walkover to the PTI but instead give them a run for their money,” said Aurangzeb.
Later, Senator Sherry Rehman, flanked by PML-N, MMA, Jamaat-e-Islami and other politicians, addressed a brief press conference stating that it had been agreed to have a joint strategy against the ‘fake elections’ and raise the issue in parliament and outside the ECP.
She said the APC had agreed that they would support a joint candidate for the PML-N’s nominee as prime minister in the National Assembly, speaker from the PPP and deputy speaker from the MMA.
“We will raise our voice at every forum against the rigged election in which one party was the beneficiary of the wrongdoing,” she stated.
ANP’s Mian Iftikhar Hussain said they would go for the formation of a government and were proactive and in offensive mode.
JI’s Liaquat Baloch added that there were two opinions about the strategy in which one was to completely boycott the assemblies and second was to use the democratic way of staying in the house and raise voice.
“We have opted for the second option to raise voice against the election in which both the winner as well as loser is embarrassed,” he concluded.
PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal said it is for the first time in the country’s history that all parties were on the same page and rejected the elections as “fake and rigged.”
The APC will meet on Friday to finalise the ToRs for the committee and then come up with a protest and candidates’ name to be fielded in the assemblies at the Centre and in Punjab.
Later, the PTI issued a press statement welcoming APC’s move to enter the assemblies and stated that it had already announced that all objections related to elections would be addressed.