PPP adjourns CEC meeting as Bilawal tears apart PDM's show-cause notice

To announce final decision today; Bilawal tears PML-N’s show-cause notice in fit of rage


Hafeez Tunio April 11, 2021
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressing the participants of CEC meeting on April 11, 2021. PHOTO: COURTESY/PPP MEDIA CELL

KARACHI:

The Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Sunday remained “indecisive” as majority of its leaders suggested neither quitting the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) nor resigning from the assemblies as recommended by most of the opposition alliance parties in order to give a tough time to the incumbent government.

“We will not leave the PDM as we are its founding party,” a senior PPP leader, on condition of anonymity, told The Express Tribune after the six- hour long CEC meeting.

The party leadership reached a consensus that they would not resign from the assemblies at this stage, terming the move as option of last resort.

The second session of the CEC will be held on Monday (today) at Bilawal House Karachi, where a final decision about future line of action with the PDM will be announced.

"The meeting has been adjourned until tomorrow [Monday] morning and [we] will be addressing the press tomorrow early afternoon," the party statement said.

It noted that the issue of res- ignations from assemblies, the PTI and IMF deal and its effect on the economy, the State Bank ordinance, “PTI’s confused” policy on Kashmir, and opposition’s response to the government on various fronts will be among other agendas of the meeting.

The meeting, which was co-chaired by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari, however, expressed serious

concern over the show-cause notice served to the party by the PDM and was, reportedly, torn up by Bilawal.

Almost all the CEC members applauded Bilawal’s move. Among the 50 members, many including Zardari joined the session virtually and discussed the pros and cons of continuing with the opposition alliance.

Raja Parvaiz Ashraf, Sherry Rehman, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Aitzaz Ahsan, Nayyar Bukhari, Chaudhry Manzoor, former Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, CM Murad Ali Shah, Naveed Qamar, Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood, Nawab Yousaf Talpur, Faisal Kareem Kundi, Raza Rabbani and Madad Ali

Jatak were among others who attended the hybrid meeting. The show-cause notice was given after the PPP fielded Yusuf Raza Gilani as oppo- sition leader in the Senate and sought support from Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) — a coalition partner of the ruling PTI.

"Bilawal read the content of the show-cause notice and tore it up with remarks that nothing is important than honour, dignity and principled stand in politics. We can’t take dictation [from anyone]," a PPP leader quoted the party chairman as saying.

Neither the party publicly confirmed that Bilawal tore up the show-cause notice that was issued to it by PDM Secretary General Shahid Khaqan Abbasi nor any of its leader talked about it on media.

However, the PPP media cell, off the record, released tickers to some TV journalists to break the story on the issue.

Sources privy to the de- velopment told The Express Tribune that a few PPP leaders also talked about the role of PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who according to them, is tilted towards the PML-N.

"We did not protest with Maulana sahab when his party contested against us in the Larkana by-election and the PML-N joined hands with the PTI in the Senate polls, electing its members unopposed in Punjab," a member asserted while endorsing Bilawal’s remarks in the meeting.

During the meeting, Gilani offered to surrender his cov- eted post of opposition leader in the Senate in the wake of the rift with the PDM over it.

Reports said that Gilani was asked to continue working on his position as the allegations levelled by the PM-N and JUI-F leaders in the show-cause notice were baseless.

The meeting discussed at length the “politically motivated cases, bad governance, inflation and public senti- ment against the incumbent government” and vowed to continue struggle against the incumbent regime.

According to the reports coming from the Bilawal

House, senior leaders of the PPP strongly recommended that the party should con- tinue its struggle from the PDM platform.

"The ANP which voted for the PPP in the Senate [elec- tions] has already quit the PDM while protesting over the show-cause given to it. We have discussed both the options. Now, the party leadership has sought more time for serious consulta- tions within its own ranks as to what it should do. Should we remain with the PDM or say goodbye to it," a senior PPP leader, who happens to be the CEC member, said.

He said that some members especially from Punjab also stressed the need to keep up the alliance and negotiate with the PDM leaders again in order to send the incumbent government packing.

"Everyone should wait till today [Monday]. We can give a surprise too," the leader said.

On the other hand, the PML-N leaders, while expressing harsh reaction over the tearing of the show-cause notice, attributed it to the PPP's decision to leave the PDM.

"The way Bilawal Bhutto has behaved with the show- cause notice shows that the party has principally decided to leave the alliance," senior PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal told the media.

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