No benefit of long march unless resignations are submitted, says Fazl ahead of PDM meeting

No benefit of long march unless resignations are submitted, says Fazl ahead of PDM meeting

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No benefit of long march unless resignations are submitted, says Fazl ahead of PDM meeting

Addressing a press conference in Peshawar, the PDM chief said the issue of the resignations had been put on the agenda for the opposition alliance’s meeting tomorrow.

“In my personal opinion, if we don’t submit resignations from this parliament then there may not be a lot of benefit to the long march,” he said.

Divided over the issue of submitting resignations from the assemblies at a time when the long march is just two weeks away, the heads of the component parties of the PDM will hold a crucial session in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Rehman said the PDM meeting will discuss the final plan of action for the march, scheduled to take place around the end of the month.

In a separate press conference, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz termed tomorrow’s meeting of the PDM as “very important” because of discussions on the issue of resignations.

She said it would be “very clear” after tomorrow’s session what the consensus was and where each party stood.

“The PDM is an alliance of 10 political parties, each of which has its own views and ground realities. They talk according to that,” she said, adding, however, that the PML-N would try to convince them to support mass resignations of lawmakers.

“Those who do not agree on resignations right now, [we] will make full efforts to get them to agree. We have also agreed to [their ideas in the past]. They should also help with the last push to remove this government in the interest of the public.”

Sources in the opposition parties earlier told Dawn that the JUI-F and the PML-N had decided to insist on their proposal of submitting en-masse resignations from the assemblies during the meeting. On the other hand, the PPP after a series of in-house consultations and brainstorming sessions has decided to oppose the idea at any cost.

The JUI-F believes that after losing the elections of Senate chairman and deputy chairman despite having a majority, it has become imminent for the opposition parties to come out of the assemblies. Moreover, sources said, the JUI-F leadership was of the view that the Senate polls had also proved that their move to bring a no-confidence motion against the National Assembly speaker or the prime minister would be a futile exercise.

The PPP, meanwhile, believes that the opposition has gained much ground and political space after the recent by-elections in the country, noting that the victory of Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani in the Senate elections caused a major dent in the ruling alliance. The PPP leaders believe that the by-polls and the Senate elections have strengthened the party position, therefore, the opposition should give a tough time to the government while staying in the assemblies instead of leaving the field open for the government.

‘Resignations should be used as last option’
Meanwhile, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that the opposition should use resignations from assemblies as an “atom bomb” and “last option”.

Speaking to reporters in Hyderabad, Bilawal said cards played by the opposition within the parliament had been successful in the past, adding that any future decisions regarding resignations would be taken by the PDM through consensus.

He said it was due to the PDM’s decision of participating in by-elections for national and provincial assemblies that the PTI started losing its numerical majority in the lower house of parliament. The PPP chairperson emphasised that the PDM had taken the right decisions and gotten achievements.

“We achieved success within the parliament and the kind of tough time given to the government by us is seen within it,” he said.

“Our struggle has entered the final phase where the majority of the government in the upper and lower houses of parliament has been exposed and even in Punjab [the PTI’s] majority is at stake,” he claimed.

Therefore, the PDM should take its political decisions with utmost seriousness so that it could harm the government politically and achieve its target of supremacy of the parliament and Constitution, Bilawal said, adding that he would present his proposals in tomorrow’s meeting.

He further said the card of a no-confidence motion and options within parliament should be pressed for at the moment.

‘Courts have become the last hope’
Rehman, in his presser, criticised the recently held Senate chairman and deputy chairman elections, terming them “rigged”. He claimed this was clear in light of the irregularities that occurred during the polls.

He claimed that the opposition was given the message that despite being in the majority in the Senate, it would lose to the minority.

“The whole nation is seeing this kind of interference in the country’s politics since 2018,” he said, questioning who had planted the secret cameras found in the Senate hall and election booth.

The PDM chief asked why “valid votes” of the opposition were rejected and why they were “reduced” in the vote for the Senate deputy chairman, which JUI-F’s Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri lost.

“Why are these loyalties changing? Someone must be changing them and there must be some pressure. Some people must be working on it and giving offers of greed and threats [to our members]”.

He also hit out at the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for seeking Maryam Nawaz’s bail cancellation in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

“The allegation is that she speaks against the institutions and is taking undue benefit of being released on bail. Is NAB the spokesperson of the institutions?” Rehman asked.

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He said if the NAB, whose responsibility was to eliminate corruption and conduct the accountability process, was becoming a spokesperson of other institutions, “then this proves our claims that this institution is a puppet of other powerful institutions”.

Rehman alleged that in this kind of situation, the country’s politics was not being run according to the Constitution, saying “the courts have become the last hope.”