Following days of consultations, opposition parties have evolved consensus over the name of JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman as head of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), the newly-formed alliance against the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
The decision was taken during a virtual meeting of opposition parties on Saturday, attended by PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, BNP chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal and Maulana Fazl among other senior opposition politicians.
The meeting discussed the country’s prevailing political situation including the decisions taken during the All Parties Conference (APC) last month to topple the PTI-led government.
Sources privy to the meeting told The Express Tribune that PML-N had suggested the name of Fazl for the PDM chairmanship which was approved by all parties unanimously. PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal would be appointed as the secretary-general of the opposition’s newly-formed alliance.
Meanwhile, members from other political parties will be given the positions of vice-president, they added.
At the APC on September 20, the opposition parties upped the ante against the PTI-led federal government as they demanded the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan and announced the formation of the PDM to begin a countrywide protest campaign.
During the PPP-hosted confab, the opposition also ratcheted up its narrative against alleged rigging in the July 2018 general election and demanded that the powerful military establishment should not only refrain itself from interfering in politics but also confine to its role as defined in the Constitution.
Through a 26-point resolution and a seven-point action plan issued after the APC, the opposition put forward its demands, including free, fair, transparent elections without having any role of the armed forces and agencies.
Reacting to the decision, Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry termed it a “sad day” for Pakistan, saying: “An extremist Mullah [cleric] considered close to terrorist groups of Afghanistan is selected to lead opposition movement against the government”.
Taking to Twitter, he further added that unlike India where “extremists” are in the government, people of Pakistan have never allowed them to come into power or mainstream politics.
Sad Day for Pakistan An extremist Mullah considered Close to terrorist groups of Afghanistan is selected to lead opposition movement against Government,unlike India where extremists are in Govt people of Pak never allowed extremists to lead or mainstream politics,— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) October 3, 2020
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