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ISLAMABAD: The joint opposition on Thursday welcomed the landmark decision of Supreme Court and described it as a victory of the Constitution, democracy and Pakistan, besides congratulating the entire nation for burying the “doctrine of necessity” once and for all by the apex court.

Speaking at a news conference, leaders of the joint opposition, including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) senior leader Asad Mahmood, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Awami National Party (ANP) leader Amir Haider Khan Hoti, Sardar Akhtar Mengal of Balochistan National Party, and others also announced that they would take all together once the new government is formed after the success of the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

PML-N president and opposition leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, while welcoming the apex court’s decision, said that it has saved the Constitution and that it would further strengthen democracy in the country.

He said that the next phase is the vote on the no-confidence motion, as well as, the election of the new leader of the house, adding that the joint opposition would face both together.

Opposition says PM won’t be given ‘safe passage’

“After this, a new burden is now on our shoulders to steer the country out of the prevailing challenges and address the problems of the people, and we all will face this phase together,” he added.

He thanked the heads of the joint opposition, those who parted ways with the ruling alliance and joined the opposition, as well as, the PTI estranged lawmakers who announced support for the joint opposition’s no-trust move against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

To a question, Shehbaz Sharif said that there is no term of “revenge” in their dictionary. “However, we will break the “NAB-Niazi nexus” once we came into power,” he added.

He further stated that it would be up to the PTI if they want to resign from the assembly, “however, we would try our level best to run the parliament in light of the set parliamentary rules”.

To another question whether the April 3 actions of the government would be forgiven, Shehbaz said that the law will take its course, adding he would not interfere in it.

“All the ‘surprises’ of them (the PTI) proved to be fake and now there is no option for yet another fake surprise,” he further responded to a query about another possible step by the government.

When asked whether he would invite Prime Minister Imran Khan and his party for working together once the new government is formed with the opposition alliance in power, Shehbaz said that with the consultation of the allied parties, they would approach all the parties in the parliament for reforms, so that sense is prevailed that all are on board on the reforms agenda.

Shehbaz also thanked and congratulated the lawyers who fought the case in the court.

He also urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to delay the local bodies’ elections in Balochistan for a few weeks, so that the parties who were busy in the Centre get some time to make preparations for the polls.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that it was neither a win of any party or a defeat of others, rather it is a victory of the country’s Constitution, democracy, and Pakistan.

“With this victory, we would proceed towards restoration of a true democracy, and restoration of independence of the media. We will give the people of Pakistan their economic rights and we, together, will bring such electoral reforms, so that when we go into elections that should be free and fair, and the public elected representatives are able to resolve the problems of the people,” Bilawal added.

He said that Shehbaz Sharif would be the candidate of the joint opposition for the office of the Prime Minister after the vote on the no-confidence succeeds.

MQM-P convener Siddiqui welcomed the apex court’s decision, saying that the historic decision is a hope for strengthening of democracy and the country’s economy. He hoped that the new government when formed would take all the people across the country on board without any discrimination of race and language.

ANP leader Amir Haider Khan Hoti said that those who had declared the opposition as traitors are also welcomed to join hands with the opposition alliance for the betterment of the country. “We don’t consider them as traitors, they are as Pakistanis as we are,” he said without naming the PTI and its leadership.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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