Cautious approach: Opposition to press Zardari for resignation

Published: January 13, 2012
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Nawaz Sharif  meets with opposition party leaders Maulana Fazalur Rehman , Qazi Hussain Ahmed  and Mehmood Khan Achakzai on the current political situation in Islamabad.  PHOTO: AFP

Nawaz Sharif meets with opposition party leaders Maulana Fazalur Rehman , Qazi Hussain Ahmed and Mehmood Khan Achakzai on the current political situation in Islamabad. PHOTO: AFP

Nawaz Sharif  meets with opposition party leaders Maulana Fazalur Rehman , Qazi Hussain Ahmed  and Mehmood Khan Achakzai on the current political situation in Islamabad.  PHOTO: AFP All the leaders believe in the supremacy of the constitution and law in Pakistan, says PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal. PHOTO: INP

ISLAMABAD: Top leaders of major opposition parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), decided on Friday to convince President Asif Ali Zardari to step down ahead of the next general elections in order to make them credible – but agreed to avoid any “silly confrontation” with the government.

“We will not be pushing too hard because someone else can take advantage of the chaos on the streets,” a leader of a right wing party, thought to be one of the key players in the country’s convoluted power politics, said.

The lunch hosted by PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif came amid growing tensions between the civilian and military leadership and as the government faces legal challenges emanating from a warning issued by the Supreme Court last week to implement its verdict in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case.

Heads of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Pukhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Balochistan National Party (BNP), PPP-Sherpao, a breakaway faction of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and other small groups met for three hours to chalk out what they called ‘a roadmap’ for the continuation of democracy in the country.

Leaders including Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Munawar Hassan, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Mahmoud Khan Achakzai, Hasil Bizenjo, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Allama Sajid Mir, Gohar Ayub Khan and Professor Khursheed Ahmed were all in attendance.

Hosted by Nawaz, the meeting cautioned the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to avoid direct confrontation with the army, saying it could spoil the whole spectrum of politics.

It was JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman who proposed that all opposition parties should try to convince President Zardari to step down, officials said. “It can happen … we can make him [Zardari] realise that it is better for him, his party, democracy and the country. It will be victory for all,” a participant said, while quoting Fazl.

However, most leaders were of the opinion that the opposition should adopt a cautious approach to push for Zardari’s resignation and early elections, rejecting the three points proposed by Nawaz, officials said.

The PML-N spelt out a three options on Thursday, envisaging a no-trust motion, long march or resignation from the parliament to seek the ouster of the government.

Talking to the media after the meeting, a PML-N spokesperson said that participants of the meeting had gathered on a few points, and would take a final decision in this regard very soon.

The points are that the government should call elections immediately; electoral lists must be completed as soon as possible; all decisions of the Supreme Court must be implemented; and the administration should avoid confronting state institutions.

Leaders of all these parties will discuss this plan with their party members and get back to Nawaz in a couple of days, the PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal said.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Saqib
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:57PM

    Hypocrites everywhere…………….!! thats all i can say about nawaz shareef and every single politician…….

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  • Kashif Iqbal
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:57PM

    PML-N is the only sincere and mature party to handle the current situation of Pakistan. I am glad that all opposition powers are getting closer to finish this incompetent government.

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  • Kashif Iqbal
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:00PM

    @Saqib:
    Yes, they are hypocrites but Imran Khan is not only hypocrite but immature kid too.

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  • Concerned
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:08PM

    What they all saying is entirely different from what all have in their hearts. Kaash…they think about the Pakistan & people of Pakistan only….

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  • Ahsan Raza
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:10PM

    These people never learn, Nawaz ditched them for power at APDM and they expect any different now. I would do Pakistan a favor if I was in their shoes. Stand by someone honest like Imran khan to rescue Pakistan.

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  • Acorn Guts
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:11PM

    In other news, opposition leaders unanimously decided that their patience is running thin and they want to cozy up in the federal offices as soon as possible. Many leaders complained about lack of embezzlement opportunities when not in power and agreed that incumbent government will never be financially jaded so they should be sent packing before Army can ruin the politician’s business for another decade. The leaders also petitioned that ‘people of Pakistan’ will always come second.

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  • Khawlah
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:13PM

    This is not good that democratic forces are toppling a democratically elected government. Where is Imran Khan? I think he is an opposition with in an opposition.

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  • SUB
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:21PM

    @Kashif: Imran Khan is twice as good a politician? :)

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:22PM

    The opposition right from the day one when PPP came into power wanted early elections.

    Who has the time to wait for 5 long years.

    We need to amend our constitution and general elections should be held after every three years.

    The term of Senators should also be reduced to three years instead of six years.

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  • Z
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:28PM

    @Kashif Iqbal: Just because you felt the need to criticize Imran Khan when he hasn’t been mentioned here shows PML is shaking in its boots because of PTI.

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  • Hope
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:33PM

    nawaz always gather parties and get benifit of that and then leave the parties behind …. so lets see agains what gona happen

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:44PM

    Very mature and wise moves by PML(N). The only way to remove this government is through early elections. Many people including powerful institutions are blinded with hate. They cann’t see the consequences once this government is removed without vote. We may oppose this government, but we must not forget that Mr. Zardari with his political skills has shared power with almost all political entities. This is the reason that we haven’t seen widespread protests and lawlessness inspite of worst circumstances and crises. Once this government is removed without elections, all political forces who are tied together will loose bondage resulting in serious ramifications.

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  • Karim
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:55PM

    It’s hard to stop laughter now because it brings to mind the popular urdu story we read in school in our primary education: “Choohon ki Majlis” :)

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  • Born Political
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:56PM

    whatever it is, if this leads to end of an unpopular / most corrupt govt, I support this.

    Those who want this govt to complete 5 years are not feeling about the poor class which is being crushed under the label of democracy. If there is a democratic way to expel this government, GO FOR IT

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  • thomas
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:15PM

    dear only change of faces will not change the fate of people but rathrr we need to change the system and talk about good policies and force govt to implement.

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  • Imran
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:19PM

    Its the JOKE of 2012 Seeing Nawaz and Fazal-ur-Rehman together for the people of Pakistan and democracy.

    Save the future of your children, Save your Country. Vote for PTI

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  • butt jee
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:20PM

    PPP Government has pushed the country into serious crisis just to save one person. PPP leaders must realize that loyalty to any individual cannot take preference over the loyalty to the country and constitution. The PPP must obey the orders of the Supreme Court and cooperate with the Judicial Commission on Memogate so that the cricisis can be averted. If they keep on ridiculing the superior judiciary then they have no right to be in the Government. In that case the most suitable and constitutional way to remove this corrupt and incompetent Government will be to bring an in house change through a vote of no confidence.Recommend

  • thomas
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:31PM

    dear born politician,
    there is a famous adage ^basically politicians are not corrupt its seat which corrupts them,,

    so not to pray foor earlu election but for change of attitude of local people, untill unless we change ourselves we may not be able to enjoy relief. basically we are corrupt and ask govt for bribe for our own interests. we need to change ourselves and force govt who so ever is to be on track. our age is 64 current govt is only 4 think when we enjoyed peace, justice, and development?

    we all need to think and act accordingly……

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  • Arshed
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:32PM

    If we don’t see many comments in favour of PPP in this space (in English, on internet), it does not mean PPP has no support ‘in the masses’ or that ‘all want it to go’. It basically means that very few from those with internet access & ability to write English like PPP! Its quite clear that PML-N wants early elections not to see PPP go, but to avoid seeing PTI come to power. But the irony Mr. Nawaz Sharif & his supporters must live with is that PTI will replace them in Punjab, and next federal Govt. will be a PPP-led coalition because there are millions out there who like PPP, and will vote for it. Smileys -:)

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  • Realist.
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:33PM

    @Imran:
    FUTURE ?
    WHAT FUTURE?
    WHAT COUNTRY?
    Imran has NO magic Stick! For God’s sake!
    MIRACLES DONT HAPPEN!
    This country has been limping on for 64 years & will continue to limp on!

    Recommend

  • zia ul Haq
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:47PM

    The Point here is PML(N) is just looking for its turn to loot the country guys. They did it when they got chances. They all the dump politicians and know nothing except to enhance their own personal businesses with lot of proves we see that Nawaz shareef and Shehbaz Shareef has no vision and what they want is to get back their Governmnet. I support imran khan not because he would do good but lets give him a chance. We had been ditched with all these mians zardarees bhuttoss again n again n i dont know why people still support them..

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  • Beatle
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:18PM

    “NS meets opposition leader”- to garner suuport for no-confidence movement – from Qazi Hussain, Achakzaei, Prof Sajid Meer, Sherpao. All but the last have 1 member in NA. The rest ZERO. Someone go and tell NS.

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  • Paki1
    Jan 13, 2012 - 9:58PM

    Imran Khan is the biggest Hypcrite Pakistan has ever seen! With 99.5% same looters, killers, corrupt leftouts of the other parties, he is befooling the nation with hopes of Change!

    Speaking the orders of his masters, the establishment, he says he cant talk to PML-N as they are not resigning from the assemblies, but his is more then happy to sit with parties like MQM, Q-League etc who have been providing the oxygen to the government. Besides, he is ready to sit with PPP themselve. How funny is that!

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  • dv sikka
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:08PM

    The recent unpatriotic move by Zardari government to involve British in its internal affairs is the most shocking thing that can happen to a sovereign nation. Nobody can trust this government. It is indeed time the people were given a chance to decide. It will be best that the Chief Justice takes over the Presidency so that early elections can be held in a fair atmosphere. If the constitution does not allow it then let Musharraf come and take over controls. Pakistan needs to be protected from any desperate action of the preseny government.

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  • Ali
    Jan 14, 2012 - 6:57AM

    A bunch of self centered rich people who pretend to be working for the public.

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