ISLAMABAD: An Iftar-dinner being hosted by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in the federal capital on Sunday (today) is expected to be a ‘grand show’ of opposition leaders, political sources said on Saturday.
According to the PPP, Bilawal telephoned Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz and invited her to the dinner. Sources said that Maryam had accepted the invitation and would travel directly to Zardari House in Islamabad from Lahore. She will lead a delegation of PML-N leaders including Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shehbaz.
The PPP chairman has also invited Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Awami National Party (ANP) leader Asfandyar Wali, Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) Chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Balochistan National Party-Mengal’s (BNP-M) Akhtar Mengal, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq, Qaumi Watan Party Chairman Aftab Sherpao and Shah Owais Noorani of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan.
On Friday, Bilawal held a meeting of the PPP’s core committee to discuss the ongoing financial crisis in the country and chalk out a strategy for the party’s anti-government movement which it has announced would be launched after Eidul Fitr against the rising inflation, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal and the deteriorating economic conditions.
The participants of the meeting included party leaders Yousaf Raza Gilani, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, Farhatullah Babar, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Rehman Malik, Chaudhry Manzoor, Naveed Qamar, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, Humayun Khan and Pulwasha Khan.
Later at night, former president and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari met the JUI-F chief to discuss a joint strategy against the government and the possibility of forging an alliance.
The opposition parties are gearing up to take on the government in the wake of the country’s financial crisis and increasing prices of essential commodities.
The PML-N will hold a meeting on May 20 to discuss its future course of action. It was expected to be held at the opposition leader’s chamber but now the sources said it could take place at the residence of party leader Tariq Fazal Chaudhry.
The JUI-F chief has already announced that his party would march on Islamabad and shut down the federal capital in protest against the government’s policies.