Gulf within PDM widens

PPP was asked for an explanation, but it tore the show-cause notice up

Our Correspondent May 27, 2021
PDM President Maulana Fazlur Rehman addressing a press conference along with PML-N's Maryam Nawaz and PPP's Yousuf Raza Gilani in Islamabad. SCREENGRAB


The gulf within the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) is widening as enfeebled efforts by PML-N leader Shehbaz to piece together the fragmented opposition alliance continue to fail. Sources on Wednesday told The Express Tribune that despite the ongoing attempts at reconciliation, PPP’s return to the multiparty alliance has become even more difficult in the light of recent strong statements made by PML-N leaders Maryam Nawaz and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Sources close to PDM said that in the wake of deepening fissures, a meeting has been scheduled on May 29 to discuss the strategy to bring PPP and ANP back to the alliance. However, due to the mounting tensions between the leaders of PPP and PML-N, the chances of its success are slim, sources said. The turmoil between PPP and PML-N had deepened when PDM issued an “explanation letter” to the PPP and the ANP and five opposition parties formed a separate bloc of 27 senators in the upper house.

Resultantly, the PPP and the ANP parted ways with the PDM by submitting their leaders’ resignations from all posts of the 10-party anti-government alliance which was formed in September 2020 to oust the government and curtail the role of the establishment in politics. “The PML-N expects PPP to rejoin the alliance on a condition [to respond to the show cause notice], while the PPP is adamant on an unconditional return and does not want to be held accountable for anything,” the sources said, adding, “the tense situation has become a political quandary for Maulana Fazlur Rehman who has now sought the recommendations of other parties to come up with a better strategy.”

The sharp contrast between the “soft” stance expressed by Shehbaz and the hard-hitting statements by Maryam Nawaz has further put the alliance in jeopardy. Sources said that, unless a direct dialogue is enabled between the senior leadership of both parties, the task would likely remain incomplete and difficult. While talking to the media after appearing before the accountability court on Tuesday, Abbasi had said, “The PPP was asked for an explanation, but it tore the show-cause notice up.

Read and reply, otherwise there is no room.” The former premier said if the PPP becomes part of the opposition alliance again, the PDM “will have to find a new secretary general”.

‘Don’t use PDM’s name in the absence of PPP’

Meanwhile, PPP Secretary General Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari on Wednesday came down hard on the “likeminded” people for using the PDM’s name after PPP, the party that laid its foundations, had parted its ways.

He asserted that PPP as a political party believes in mutual respect in politics and defamatory attitude is intolerable. Bukhari said that the PML-N and JUI’s “bipartisanship” is damaging democratic forces, adding that the formation of PDM was based on the vision of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. “Maulana Fazlur Rehman should tell us who is benefitting from the criticism directed against at PPP, the leading party of PDM?



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