While other constituent parties in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) claim that all options including en masse resignations are on the cards, the PML-N leaders have maintained that it is a bad move, which should not be made.
The PDM announced holding an inflation march against the incumbent government on March 23 (Pakistan Day) in its meeting held on December 6. Prior to this meeting, the PDM held a steering committee meeting to finalise the proposals for the December 6 meeting.
The leaders of different parties, especially from the JUI-F and JUP had then maintained that resignations will be an important issue before the PDM leadership as without them any long march on Islamabad would be pointless. However, post-December 6 meeting, leaders of constituent parties maintained that the issue of resignation had been settled, and the option of en masse resignations would be exercised when need be.
JUI-F leader Maulana Amjad after the aforesaid meeting, told The Express Tribune that all parties have in principle agreed to the option of resignations. He said that the option rests with the PDM leadership and will be used, when and where needed. Shah Awais Noorani of JUP had also claimed that all parties were on the same page on the issue of resignations.
Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini of the Balochistan National Party said that all parties were on board on the issue of resignations. He said there was this inflation march that could then be followed by another march, where this option might be exercised. “The decision of when to use it rests with the PDM leadership.”
However, contrary to the claims of the leaders of the constituent parties that all were on the same page, PML-N MNA Dr Nisar Ahmed Chema said that resigning from assemblies was not a viable option. “We believe in democratic struggle. Even against this installed government, we will not use the option of besieging the federal capital as was done against us by the PTI.”
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He said that resigning from the assemblies will be akin to giving this government a walkover. “This government, as discourteous as it is, might call for a fresh election on all our vacated seats, in case of en masse resignations. What will we do then?”
Giving resignations would limit the democratic options available with the PML-N and the PDM, he said, adding that the option of in-house change will then be off the table. “We will be left with only Dharnas and sit-ins.”
He said that PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman was a sagacious and wise leader and “we are sure that when he will be informed of the said scenarios that will occur after the en masse resignation, he too would understand. He said the issue of resignation was not a difference of opinion, but in fact a difference in strategy.
Another PML-N leader, on the condition of anonymity, said his party was the biggest opposition party in the National Assembly. “Other PDM parties have a thin presence in both the upper and lower houses, which is why they are failing to understand the political cost of this option.”
He said that the PML-N, which was the party in waiting to form the next government, had to take steps very cautiously. “Resignations will take away the leverage PML-N has in assemblies.”
And with the PPP going rouge, he said, the chances that their resignations would bring down the government were very slim.
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