PPP to ‘join’ PDM’s long march

MQM delegation also calls on Shehbaz, Fazl

Our Correspondent March 17, 2022
PML-N President Shehbaz and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman met with PPP leader Asif Zardari at his residence in Islamabad. SCREENGRAB


The PPP has accepted the invitation of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to participate in its long march, the opposition alliance’s chief said on Wednesday.

"I had to go to invite [PPP Co Chairperson] Asif Ali Zardari to participate in the long march but he before that he came to us,” JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who heads the PDM, told reporters alongside PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif after they held a meeting at the former’s residence..

“Before I could invite him [Zardari], he told me that he had already accepted the invitation.”
On a reporter’s query about the timing of the PDM’s long march and rally, the JUI-F chief told him to keep the question to himself. “Who will take out the rally from where and when, you will not get that answer now.”

Talking on the occasion, Shehbaz, who is also the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, announced his solidarity with the upcoming session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and prayed for its success.

“The OIC guests would arrive here on March 23. Regardless of our political differences with this government, we pray for the success of the OIC conference.” The meeting between the two leaders was attended by PML-N leaders including Rana Sanaullah, Saad Rafique, Ayaz Sadiq and Malik Ahmad Khan.

READ MQM-P nudges towards PPP for long-term ties

Senator Kamran Murtaza, Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and other leaders from JUI-F also participated in the huddle. The two sides discussed the overall political situation in the country and the no-confidence motion against the government.

Earlier, a PPP delegation led by Zardari called on the JUI-F chief at his residence and exchanged views on making the no-trust move successful. Shehbaz and Fazl also met with an MQM-P delegation, which comprised its leaders Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Aminul Haque, Aamir Khan and Khawaja Izharul Hassan.

PML-N leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal and Marriyum Aurangzeb were also present on the occasion. Talking to the media after the meeting, Haque, who is also the federal information technology and telecommunication minister, claimed his party was never interested in ministries and was more concerned about the problem faced by the residents of the urban areas.
He added that meetings between allies were continuing.

 “I will say three things that we want -- the democratic system should be maintained, the supremacy of parliament should be maintained and law and order should be maintained throughout the country.”
Speaking on the occasion, PML-N’s Rafique said they were ready to guarantee constitutional and fundamental rights.

“For the first time, we are going to be a unique and national government.” He added that talks had been successful and that was why the MQM-P had come to meet them today. The PML-Q leadership, its president Chaudhry Shujaat and his cousin Parvez Elahi, who are allies of the ruling party, have left for Lahore after seeking the slot of the Punjab chief minister from both the government and opposition.

Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan held a consultative session at his Bani Gala residence that was attended by federal ministers Asad Umar, Pervez Khattak and Fawad Chaudhry among others.

Contacts with the allies as well as recent statements and an action plan were discussed. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail also called on the premier and briefed him on the talks with the allies, particularly the MQM-P. The PTI’s March 27 rally was also discussed.


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