Nawaz, Fazl consider minus-PPP scenario

Agree to press ahead with anti-govt movement even if Zardari’s party opts out


Our Correspondent March 19, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Thursday spoke on the phone and agreed to continue the anti-government movement even if the PPP decides not to become a part of it.

According to sources, both the leaders deliberated on the future course of action and the unity of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

PDM – an 11-party opposition alliance – was formed in last September with the avowed aim to dislodge the incumbent regime.

Sources said that Nawaz and Fazl discussed the issue of resignations from assemblies and the long march, which had been postponed due to the PPP’s refusal to quit the assemblies.

Both the leaders agreed to wait for the return of PPP after the party’s consultations with its central executive committee (CEC) on the issue of resignations. However, insiders said, Nawaz and Fazl consented to continue the anti-government movement even if the PPP decides not to become a part of the alliance.

They further noted that the nine parties of the PDM would decide the future course of action and maintained that a meeting of the PDM would be called after the PPP’s decision.

PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari also spoke with Fazl on phone and said that the PDM leadership would be apprised of the CEC decision.   

Meanwhile, Fazl stressed that the 11-party opposition alliance was very much alive and would come up to the expectations of the people.

Addressing a JUI-F convention in Islamabad, Fazl rejected the impression that the PDM was disintegrating and had lost its say.

Read more: PDM a divided house over resignations

He said taking along different parties in a coalition was the most tedious job in politics.

“When there are several parties in an alliance, everyone has their own beliefs and objectives. Taking along that number of parties is the most difficult task in politics,” he said.

"The PDM had to go through these circumstances. But God willing, we will move forward in a congenial manner," he added.

During the PDM summit on Tuesday, the PPP had flatly refused to resign from the assemblies, while the PML-N declined 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.

On Thursday, the PDM president insisted that the support of people was considered of utmost importance in the success of any movement.

“Whether anyone stays or leaves [the alliance], the journey towards the destination will continue. The only thing that matters is whether your stance is supported by the people or not.”

Fazl vowed to give the incumbent regime a tough time.

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