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ISLAMABAD: Amid the visibly-evolving political development in the country, the opposition alliance of nine political parties – the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – will meet for an emergency session on February 11 in Lahore to chalk out its future strategy to up the ante against the government.

Informed sources told Business Recorder that after the recent contacts between the top leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the background interaction with some coalition partners of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the emergency meeting of the PDM was convened to meet in Lahore to discuss the “options” in hand to be used to “oust” Prime Minister Khan and his government.

This, according to the sources, was decided following a contact between PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif and PDM President Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who is also chief of his own faction of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F).

They said that top on the agenda of the PDM’s forthcoming meeting would be the “proposals” recently discussed during a visit of the PPP co-chairman, Asif Ali Zardari, and chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari over a luncheon hosted by the PML-N President, Shehbaz Sharif, at his Lahore residence on Saturday.

Among the PPP’s proposals, the sources added, is to bring a no-confidence motion against the prime minister in the National Assembly, and joint efforts both within and outside the parliament to exert pressure through protest movements as well as using the democratic options.

Besides, they added that the PDM’s meeting would also deliberate upon the preparations for the PDM’s forthcoming “anti-inflation march” to be held on March 23, as the alliance of the nine opposition political parties has given the call to march towards Islamabad as part of its anti-government movement.

The PML-N, the major opposition party in the National Assembly, on Monday, unanimously decided during its central executive committee (CEC) that the PTI government should not be given any more time and agreed to take all constitutional, parliamentary, democratic, and political steps “to get rid” of the “most incompetent and corrupt government in the country’s history”, as soon as possible.

While giving the complete authority to party Quaid Nawaz Sharif to take whatever decision, the PML-N’s CEC also Shehbaz Sharif to expedite the process of liaison and consultation with other political parties across the country, to formulate a strategy based on national consensus and fulfil public aspirations to “oust” the government.

Furthermore, the PML-N sources maintained that the party was also in touch with various government allies, including the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), as well as the PTI’s own lawmakers to get their support in case of any parliamentary move – a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly.

“We also have presented our position to the MQM-P with regard to the country’s situation, particularly, the worst economic crisis, inflation, and the price hike of almost commodity and failure of the PTI government to address these challenges over the past three and a half years,” a PML-N lawmaker said, while referring to the meeting of MQM-P delegation with party president Shehbaz Sharif in Lahore on Tuesday.

“They [the MQM-P) will discuss the situation within their party and we are hopeful that when the time arrives, the MQM-P would make an appropriate decision,” he hoped.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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