Fazl says PDM ready to accept Gilani as Opp leader if PPP returns to alliance

Fazl says Shehbaz will replace Maryam as PDM representative/ Says PPP, PML-N not ready to resign from assemblies

ISLAMABAD: Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the head of the opposition alliance of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), on Thursday dropped a hint of a possible deal between the opposition alliance with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), saying that the alliance was ready to accept Yousaf Raza Gillani as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate if the PPP and Awami National Party (ANP) return to the fold.

“There is no obstacle for the PPP and ANP to rejoin the opposition alliance of PDM. If the Pakistan People’s Party returns to the PDM and accept our position, we can also recognise PPP’s opposition leader in the Senate,” said Fazl.

He asserted that the ANP was also angry with the PPP leadership for taking votes from the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP). The ANP leadership had to announce its separation from the alliance due to some pressure, he claimed.

The PDM chief said that there was a change of guard in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and from now on, Shehbaz Sharif, would be representing the opposition alliance from now on, replacing Maryam Nawaz.

The claim was made during Fazl’s media interaction. He said that the PPP leadership wants to return to the PDM fold. He also said that the resignations of PPP and ANP leaders from the PDM slots were not accepted.

He asserted that the delay of PPP’s return to the PDM fold on the conditions of the alliance is due to ongoing deliberations between the PDM and the ANP and PPP.

Fazl further said that both the major opposition parties – PPP and PML-N – were not ready to resign from assemblies. He maintained that, soon after elections, the opposition parties did not accept his demand not to take oath from the assemblies.

“[If they had agreed], the nature of the matter would have been different,” Fazl said and added that a full-fledged mass contact campaign will be launched after Eidul Fitr.

On the issue of Justice Qazi Faiz Isa, the PDM chief said that there was no moral justification for the prime minister and the president to remain in office after the decision of Justice Isa case.

Mian Abrar
The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He tweets as @mian_abrar and also can be reached at [email protected]

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