PDM chief urges PPP to respect majority view on resignations

Nowhere in PDM's agenda is it written that resignations would be used as last option like ‘atom bomb’, says JUI-F amir


Our Correpondent March 17, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

While urging the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to respect the majority view on the issue of resignation from assemblies, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) President Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Wednesday said that resignations were never meant to be the "last option but instead it was one of the options" to oust the PTI government.

"Nowhere in our agenda is it written that resignations would be used as the last option like an atom bomb… it was just an opinion," he said while addressing a ceremony in Peshawar.

The PDM chief was apparently responding to PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari who had said that he does not favour en masse resignations of the opposition's legislators "at this stage".

"We should use the resignations as an atom bomb, as the last option," he underscored at a press conference held after the concluding ceremony of the three-day Sindh Livestock Expo 2021 in Hyderabad on Monday.

Both, the PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz are of the view that resignations have become indispensable for launching a decisive political movement to oust the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government in the Centre.

Read more: PDM a divided house over resignations

The alliance appeared to be in tatters on Tuesday because of serious differences on the issue of lawmakers’ resignations, which forced it to postpone the scheduled long march against the government after a six-hour-long summit meeting in which PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif also participated through a video link.

According to sources, the PPP flatly refused to resign from the assemblies, while the PML-N refused to recall Nawaz Sharif from London. On the other hand, Fazl demanded accountability over the defeat of Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri in the election for the post of Senate Deputy Chairman.

Later, Fazl briefly appeared before a battery of waiting journalists to announce the postponement of the long march, which was scheduled to begin on March 26, until the PPP returns with its formal decision on the resignation issue.

“The agenda of the meeting was about the long march on March 26,” Fazl told reporters. “Nine parties were in favour of the long march along with resignations but the PPP had reservations on this [resignations] matter,” he added.

According to Fazl, the PPP leadership sought time to consult the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) on this matter and come back to the PDM. “We have given them [PPP] a chance and we will wait for their decision until then the March 26 Long march is postponed.”

Immediately after making the brief announcement, a visibly enraged Fazl left the press conference, without taking any questions from journalists.

Also read: Fazl, Nawaz discuss plan of action in aftermath of PDM huddle

Addressing the gathering in a more conciliatory tone today, Fazl urged PPP to respect the decision on the resignation issue of the nine other parties of the alliance.

"PPP did not agree [with the resignations of lawmakers] so they have been given time to present their position before the CEC. We're awaiting its reply... we expect PPP to respect the decision of nine other parties [of the alliance]," he added.

Explaining why resignations of lawmakers were important for the movement, the PDM chief said if half of the members of the parliament resign, the house would become empty, making it difficult for the government to function.

Maulana said that PDM is united and when there is a discussion, there is a possibility of differences on a few points. However, he regretted that the inside story of the meeting came to fore even before it ended.

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