Ready to accept Gilani if PPP rejoins PDM: Fazl

JUI-F chief says resignations submitted by two dissenting parties not accepted yet


Our Correspondent April 29, 2021
Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazl-Ur-Rehman addressing a presser in Islamabad on April 13, 2021. SCREENGRAB

ISLAMABAD:

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the president of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), on Thursday said the PPP wanted to return to the alliance but its decision was delayed as it was deliberating on the condition imposed on it by other opposition parties.

“We are ready to accept its candidate [Yousuf Raza Gilani] if it returns to the PDM and accept our stance,” the JUI-F chief told reporters in Islamabad.

“The doors of the alliance [PDM] are open for the party. We have not accepted the resignations submitted to us by the PPP and the ANP,” he added.

“There is nothing stopping these two [parties] from returning to the PDM.”

The PPP and the ANP had quit the alliance after the PDM issued show-cause notices to the leadership of the two parties for disregarding the opposition parties’ decision of fielding Azam Nazeer Tarar as the alliance’s joint candidate for the position of the opposition leader in Senate.

It also sought an explanation from the PPP for seeking support from the Balochistan Awami Party, which is part of the ruling coalition, for having its candidate Yousuf Raza Gilani elected as the opposition leader in the upper house of parliament.

Earlier this month, the PPP decided to give up all the offices in the PDM, virtually putting an end to its seven-month association with the 11-party alliance.

The PPP’s decision came days after the ANP parted ways with the alliance.

Fazl maintained that the ANP was also unhappy with the PPP for seeking votes from the BAP.

“The ANP leadership announced its decision to part ways from the alliance due to some pressure.”

The Maulana said the PDM was intact and its meeting would be convened after Eidul Fitr.

“A public contact campaign will be launched after Eid,” he added.

The PDM chief said PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif would now lead his party in the alliance.

“The opposition parties did not pay heed to my call for asking their lawmakers not to take oath of office,” he pointed out.

“If the lawmakers of the opposition parties had delayed their swearing in for some time, matters would have been different now.”

The PDM chief ruled out an in-house change in the current parliament.

“The path for electoral reforms could be paved by forming a national government in which the opposition would have a strong foothold.”

On the Justice Isa case, Fazl said there was no moral justification for the president and the prime minister to remain in office after the verdict.

The JUI-F chief said the opposition parties were also in favour of trade with India but It was necessary to achieve economic stability and political understanding before that.

“Our position on [Indian Occupied Jammu and] Kashmir will be stronger than that of India only when we are economically strong,” he added.

“Weak economies also create difficulties in our foreign policy and defense.”

Fazl recalled that when the country's economy was strong, then Indian premier Atal Bihari Vajpayee had come to Lahore by bus, but even then we had welcomed him.

“Our position on [Indian Occupied Jammu and] Kashmir is weakening due to our poor economic performance,” the Maulana maintained.

“We are in a very weak position. We have to find a way out of this situation through reconciliation.”

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