PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has convened a meeting of the party's central executive committee (CEC) on April 11 (Sunday) to discuss the issue of en masse resignations from the assemblies.
Nayyar Bukhari, the party’s general secretary, on Wednesday said the CEC meeting of would be held at Bilawal House in Karachi.
“Members who cannot attend the meeting due to Covid-19 will participate in it via video link,” he added.
Senate opposition leader Yousuf Raza Gilani has said the PML-N did not want to quit the assemblies and only wanted to blame the PPP for the opposition alliance, the Pakistan Democratic Movement, falling apart.
However, PML-N senator Azam Nazir Tarar, who ran against Gilani for the Senate slot, said the opposition leader had given a half-hearted response to his proposal of moving a no-confidence motion against Sadiq Sanjrani, the chairman of the upper house of parliament.
Speaking to reporters in Islamabad on Wednesday, Gilani said the decision to resign from the assemblies would be taken in the party's CEC meeting convened by the party chairman on the 11th of this month.
"Even if the PPP decides in its meeting to resign from the assemblies, the PML-N will not do it," Gilani maintained.
On Monday in an interview with a private TV news channel, Gilani had claimed that it was Bilawal’s decision to seek the support of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) lawmakers for his election to the post of the opposition leader in Senate.
The former prime minister added that a four-member delegation headed by BAP's Dilawar met Bilawal.
“I was not present in that meeting,” he claimed, adding that he had no interest in the post but it was the party chairman, who had made the decision.
Serious differences emerged between the PPP and the PML-N – the two biggest parties in the alliance – after the former appointed Gilani as Senate opposition leader in apparent violation of what had earlier been agreed upon in a PDM meeting.
Gilani was notified as opposition leader after some smaller opposition parties – including the ANP, the Jamaat-e-Islami and BAP – threw their weight behind him.
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Irked by the move, leaders of eight PDM parties on Friday agreed that “show cause notices” should be issued to the PPP and the ANP and the alliance issued the notices on Monday.
"After receiving the show-cause notice, the ANP's political leadership has decided to part ways with the PDM," ANP Senior Vice President Ameer Haider Khan Hoti said at a press conference a day earlier, held after a meeting of the ANP leaders at Bacha Khan Markaz in Peshawar.
Separately, Tarar while speaking to The Express Tribune said he had met with Gilani a day earlier and proposed moving a no-confidence motion against Sanjrani.
“I told him that if the PPP moves a no-confidence motion, we have a strength of 57 senators of the total 99 in the Senate” he said after attending the bail proceedings of party vice president Maryam Nawaz in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.
However, he added, Gilani responded with silence.
“You know silence has two meanings, one of them being half consent which people normally resort to in social matters but there is no room for that in politics,” Tarar said.
“But I am still optimistic that the PPP will make good decision.”
In a statement issued on Wednesday, PPP Information Secretary Shazia Marri expressed concerns over PML-N senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's remarks that the statements of party vice president Maryam Nawaz carried no worth.
“The PPP has always taken the statements of Mayam Nawaz seriously and if the PML-N says they are not important then it should be clarified that what is the worth of Maryam Nawaz in PML-N,” she added.
Marri claimed that the PML-N in connivance with the JUI-F created cracks in the PDM for their own petty interests.
“[PDM chief] Maulana Fazlur Rehman has already said that if the PPP does not resign then the JUI-F and the PML-N will quit the assemblies,” she pointed out. “Now the PML-N and the JUI-F should tell us when they are going to resign and when a show cause notice will be issued to the alliance of the JUI-F and the PTI in Larkana?”
She also dismissed reports about estranged PTI leader Jahangir Tareen joining the PPP.