No big decision at APC

Islamabad: The opposition’s All Parties Conference (APC) Wednesday saw disagreement and disarray among its ranks when the members reportedly discouraged demands of collective resignation from the National Assembly.

Sources claimed, the opposition leaders gathered at the Jamiat Ulema Islam Fazal (JUI-F) chief’s call to devise a mechanism to further protests and initiation of a possible street agitation against the current government and its policies was met with stiff dissent from among their ranks with the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) airing reservations over the call.

JUI-F, Awami National Party (ANP) and Pakhtun Khwa -MAP (PK-MAP) have been revealed as those in favour of the decision to resign.

JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazal Ur Rehman was the one who came up with the idea of collective resignations.

PPP and PML-N maintained that they were opposing the decision to keep the present government from playing the ‘victim card’, sources revealed.

The Major political players said that they were deliberating upon the option to resign but would only consider it as the last resort.

The APC also discussed plans to ask the current Chairman Senate and Deputy Chairman Senate to resign from their positions.

A possibility of the Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla’s resignation being presented was discussed as the first plan of action.

The opposition parties agreed on a concerted effort and campaign against the government although the Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has not yet shown interest towards the approach, sources said.

Other parties present have been trying to get the PPP chairman on board for the anti-government campaign idea which has met with failure thus far.

PPP and PML-N were observed charting out plans to first protest outside and within the National Assembly against the present Federal Government. “We can’t leave any option open for the PTI-led government,” all parties agreed in the moot.

It was decided that constant pressure would be kept upon the government in the assembly and a proper strategy would be devised to give them a “tough time,” sources claimed.

The complete transcript of the APC shows the difference of opinion and it is being claimed that only 2 or 3 points in total were agreed upon in the long and arduous exercise.

Meanwhile, JUI-F chief urged all opposition political parties to observe a “black day” on July 25 as what he said worst election rigging had happened that day while referring to July 25, 2018 when PTI secured majority of the seats in the National Assembly and came into power.

A five-member delegation of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) comprising of former premier Yousaf Raza Gillani, former chairman of the Senate Raza Rabbani, Nayyar Bukhari, Sherry Rehman and Farhatullah Babar represented their party. Later, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also attended the conference.

A 14-member delegation of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led by its president Shehbaz Sharif and vice-president Maryam Nawaz also attended the APC.

Other party leaders of the PML-N including Raja Zafarul Haq, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal, Amir Muqam, Abdul Qadir Baloch, Shah Muhammad Shah, Marriyum Aurangzeb and Ranasana Ullah participated in the APC.

Besides, Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, and delegations from Awami National Party (ANP) and JUI-F also attended the APC.