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ISLAMABAD: The joint parliamentary opposition on Monday decided to join forces within the parliament to raise its voice over inflation, the government’s electoral reforms, and “political victimisation” through the amended National Accountability Ordinance.

A meeting of the joint opposition was held at the chamber of opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif, which was also attended by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari along with a delegation of his party, Awami National Party (ANP) parliamentary leader Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, besides by other opposition political parties in the alliance, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that the opposition parties have agreed to pursue a “joint” strategy within the parliament against “PT-IMF” government, saying that the skyrocketing inflation and price hike have broken the backbone of the common man.

“Since this “PT-IMF” government has been imposed upon us, there is an economic crisis in the country, which is directly impacting a common man. This is the main point which has gathered all the opposition parties to raise a collective voice within the parliament,” he said.

He added that whether it is the inflation, the plan to “steal the vote” through the electronic voting machines (EVMs) by an ordinance or there would be “political victimization” through a NAB ordinance, the opposition would pursue a joint strategy within the parliament.

“We would try our level best to foil the conspiracy for another rigging in the election and furthering the political victimisation in the country,” Bilawal further stated.

About the in-camera briefing to the parliamentary committee on national security, he declined to comment saying that proceedings of the committee were in-camera.

However, about the talks with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the PPP chairman said that a unilateral decision cannot be taken on such talks with the militant organisation without the approval of the parliament. “Any decision which has not been approved by the parliament, has no legal standing,” he said, adding that he had criticised the statements by the President, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister about the talks with the TTP.

“I would continue criticism on the talks with the TTP because neither anyone was taken on board nor was any consensus evolved,” Bilawal further stated.

Bilawal’s statement came following Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry’s video statement in which he revealed that a ceasefire has been agreed during the ongoing talks with the banned TTP.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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