Sunday, March 7, 2021

Will PPP be excluded from PDM?

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Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that PPP will have to be excluded from the anti-government coalition Pakistan Democratic Party (PDM) if it goes against the unanimous decision of submitting resignations.

Speaking to the media outside an accountability court in Islamabad, the PML-N leader said the party it has PDM’s one-point agenda that is to run the country in the right direction as per the Constitution.

The former prime minister said this protest and alliance are prompted because the country is not being run according to the Constitution. “That’s why even nationalist parties have become part of PDM as well,” he said, lamenting the hefty petrol prices that the masses are compelled to pay.

Abbasi had said that Prime Minister Imran Khan “prefers speaking to people over the telephone” instead of reaching out to them and “do something to give them relief.” “These days, petrol is being sold at Rs111 per litre and Rs40 worth of tax is being collected from the people. How can a common man live [with this ongoing inflation]?” he questioned the government.

Read More: PDM is upping the ante in its mission to overthrow Imran Khan’s government

The former premier further said that the price of petrol should “not exceed Rs70 per litre as per the rates of the global market.” On Sunday, the government announced to increase the price of petrol for February by Rs2.70 per litre.

PDM is no longer a threat

In a program, Think Tank, prominent analyst Ayaz Amir has said that the PDM is no longer a serious threat to the government. “They [PDM] do not understand a few things. For example, PDM is not focusing on the common Pakistanis’ issues like inflation and sugar crisis,” he said.

Professor Hassan Askari Rizvi also agreed with Amir and maintained that “PDM should know that the governments cannot be toppled like this”. Prof. Rizvi also noted that the PDM has never been clear about its agenda. “Earlier they attacked Army and the Judiciary, now ECP is being targeted,” he explained.

Aitzaz Ahsan, a senior leader of PPP and a prominent lawyer, has said that Maryam’s plan doesn’t appear to be succeeding. He was speaking to SAMAA TV.

Aitzaz opposed the opposition’s move to resign en masse too. “How can the PML-N alone decide this,” he questioned. Opposition parties should be aware that Nawaz Sharif’s narrative does not serve PDM’s interests, the PPP leader said.

It is important to note that Nawaz Sharif blamed the COAS and DG ISI for ousting him through ‘controlling and dictating the courts’. It was not for the first time that Nawaz slammed the security establishment for ‘political engineering’. On September 20, he claimed that then DG ISI approached him and asked him to step-down.

However, former DG ISI, retired Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam, has said he never asked for the resignation of former premier and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif in 2014. “I never sent anyone to convey any such message to [Nawaz], this is absolutely wrong,” he.

PPP Co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari, on the other hand, said during the PDM meeting that the coalition should be clear about its goals and should not open up new fronts.

Attending the online meeting – which was held to review the ongoing political situation in the country and to chalk out the 11-party opposition alliance’s future strategy – Zardari stressed that the PDM should stick to a clear goal, as opening up new fronts simultaneously would reap no results.

Political commentators are of the view that the PPP is unlikely to block Islamabad as the PML-N and JUI-F have reportedly plan. “PPP will soon find a graceful exit but may continue to offer its moral support to the anti-government campaign. The party is divided on some basic questions and Bilawal won’t be in a position to take any bold decision. Let’s not forget the fact the PPP did the same when Maulana came to dislodge PTI’s government in 2019,” a source told GVS.

Read more: PTI’s foreign funds to be audited

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