The inevitable has happened. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) decided on Monday to give up all the offices in the Pakistan Democratic Alliance (PDM), virtually putting an end to its seven-month association with the 11-party alliance.
The decision was taken by PPP’s Central Executive Committee in a two-day meeting where the party’s stalwarts had gathered to pore over a “show-cause” notice issued by the PDM to the PPP following a recent row over the elections to the Senate top slots.
The PPP’s decision – which came days after the ANP parted ways with the alliance – has dealt the death blow to the opposition’s efforts to oust the PTI government.
The curial CEC meeting, presided over by Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, rejected the “show-cause notice” issued to the party over garnering support of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) for Yousaf Raza Gilani for opposition leader in the Senate.
“The show-cause is aimed at giving us dictation. There is no precedent about issuing such notices to any party during the movement in the past; therefore, we demand of the PDM leadership to tender an apology for serving the show-cause notice to the PPP and ANP,” Bilawal told a post-CEC presser.
“Politics is done on the basis of dignity and equality. The situation is totally reverse here. Instead of giving a tough time to the government, the opposition is fighting with own members, giving relief to the puppet government,” he said.
“The CEC expresses serious concern over the conduct of the PDM senior leaders who issued the show-cause notices to the PPP and the ANP. This never happened in any of the past movements for restoration of democracy; therefore, we have decided to resign from all positions in the PDM.”
Bilawal told reporters that after the “show-cause fiasco”, the ANP announced its decision to part ways with the PDM and alleged that some people in the alliance wanted to hijack the PDM.
Asked about his party’s future association with the 8 remaining opposition parties in the PDM, he said: “My party will remain part of the PDM in order to continue” the struggle against the PTI government. “The PPP is the founding member of the PDM, how can it part ways with the alliance!”
About en masse resignations from the assemblies, Bilawal reiterated that it was “atom bomb” which should be used as a last resort. “Our party’s position is clear, we will not resign from the assemblies,” he added.
“This was, this is, and this will be our principled stance,” he added. “Whoever wants to resign from the assemblies, please go ahead! We will not stop you, but please don’t dictate another party or impose a decision,” he added.
The PPP chairman also mentioned the “unilateral decision” taken by the PML-N and the JUI-F in contravention of the PDM policies.
“We never ever thought and expressed concern when the PML-N evolved a consensus with the PTI and PML-Q in Punjab to elect its senators unopposed. The JUI-F supported PPP’s rival in the Larkana by-polls,” he said.
The PPP chairman recalled the past PDM meetings where the PML-N, the JUI-F and some other parties were unwilling to contest the by-polls and the Senate elections. “The PTI would have won all the seats if we had boycotted the by-polls,” he said.
He was of the view that his party would not backtrack on the movement against the PTI government and would stand by the ANP. “Our doors are open for those parties who are against the PTI government and struggling for the rule of law and good governance in Pakistan,” he said.
Bilawal also shed light on the last PDM meeting where his party was asked to tender resignation from the assemblies. “I want to know why the condition of en masse resignations was suddenly put forward and it was linked to the proposed long march, causing a big loss to the PDM movement,” he said.
The PDM leadership would have to decide whether they want to challenge the government and the establishment or compete with the PPP. “Today, we have decided in principle that our struggle against the PTI and its government will continue till its logical end.”