ISLAMABAD: The notification of Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani as opposition leader in the Senate has widened the gap between the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) – two major opposition parties, part of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).
After PML-N’s “strong reservations” over the PPP’s bid, sources within the PDM said that the party has asked its president Maulana Fazlur Rehman to seek explanation from the PPP which it considers as “deviation” from the PDM’s earlier decision that the slot of leader of the opposition would go to the PML-N.
Sources said that the PDM president had also expressed his displeasure over the new “setback” and he plans to talk to the PPP co-chairman, Asif Ali Zardari, over the situations following PML-N’s reservations.
They said that Maulana would also apprise Zardari over displeasure of the PDM over PPP’s decision, despite, an earlier agreement that the slot would go to the PML-N, when the opposition alliance fielded Gilani as its consensus candidate for the office of the chairman Senate.
“The issue would also be on agenda of the PDM’s next meeting along with PPP’s response also on the issue of resignations,” a senior PDM leader said, adding that party heads under the umbrella of the PDM would meet soon after April 4th meeting of the PPP’s central executive committee (CEC).
Though the PML-N gave its response through a news conference by its secretary-general Ahsan Iqbal in Lahore describing the PPP’s bid of moving an application signed by 30 senators in favour of Yusuf Raza Gilani as the leader of the opposition in the Senate and his consequent notification as “blow to the PDM”, the party’s vice-president, Maryam Nawaz, is yet to respond to the new development.
In a series of tweets, Ahsan Iqbal mocked and congratulated PPP for the “new alignment” with Jamaat-e-Islami, saying: “Siraj-ul-Haq finally aligned his Jamaat-e-Islami with PPP while he [Haq] continued to consider himself as neutral in the Daska by-election, elections of chairman and deputy chairman Senate. Congratulations to both on their new journey.”
In another tweet, he claimed that new alignment is being made to confront the PML-N in the next general elections.
“They will meet the same fate as the PTI’s performance is under attack today. The era of breaking the people’s power by force is over…Pakistan will have to return to its 220 million people, only then the country and its economy will run.”
The PPP, however, with 21 senators in the house, claims the office of the opposition leader as its right with its chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari publicly insisted that the PPP has a right to nominate the leader of the opposition given its majority on the opposition benches.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021