ISLAMABAD - In its bid to counter the recent political offensive by Imran Khan’s Tahreek-e-Insaaf, the PPP has finally sprung into action to do away with the stigma of “friendly opposition.”
PPP leader Syed Khurshid Shah, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, has recently written a letter to Premier Nawaz Sharif urging him to come up with the progress on the decisions of this September’s All Parties Conference (APC).
Shah, facing a looming threat by PTI and affiliates who want to deseat him as the opposition leader for alleged failure to come up with a formidable opposition, has through the said letter asked the government to speedily implement the decisions of APC.
The recent appointment of National Accountability Bureau Chairman Ch Qamaruzaman made through Sharif-Shah consensus sparked a row between the two main opposition parties in the National Assembly, as PTI cried foul terming PPP a ‘friendly opposition’ to the incumbent government.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan is keen on taking on Shah and deseating him through an opposition consensus, but PTI’s electoral rows with another major opposition party, the MQM, is the main obstacle in the way of mustering the enough strength in the National Assembly to politically humiliate PPP.
Meanwhile, Khurshid through the said letter has demanded of the incumbent government to take the parliament, political parties and the masses into confidence on the progress made in the dialogue process with the militants as was agreed upon by all political parties in the APC held on September 9.
“Khursheed Shah in a letter has asked Nawaz Sharif why the government has still not implemented the decisions of APC...What is the progress on the APC decisions as it should be shared with masses,” said spokesman of Leader of Opposition while talking to The Nation.
Despite the lapse of one-and-a-half months since the APC was convened, Shah wrote in the letter, no political party or individual had been taken into confidence about the headway in the dialogue process.
He asserted that it was a prerogative and right of the nation to know about any development in the peace process with the militants. “We should be informed that when talks were held and who were the negotiators,” Shah demanded in the letter.
It is relevant to mention here that the PML-N government though kept mum on this important matter for around a month but now has started giving hints to start dialogue with militants.
As, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in his recent interview had divulged that the dialogue with Taliban militants might start in the next few days.
“We are developing a comprehensive anti-terrorism policy and holding talks with TTP is part of that strategy,” he said, adding that they were developing a national consensus on this and that’s why we held the all-party conference in Islamabad recently.
According to the one of important points of the APC, it was the consensus that peace, tranquility, stability and a tolerant and harmonious society are essential prerequisites for revival of the growth process for rapid socio-economic development.
At the APC, it was declared “Give peace a chance” would be the guiding central principle henceforth and that dialogue must be initiated to negotiate peace with our own people in the Tribal Areas. The APCs in February 2013 had reiterated that attaining peace through dialogue should be the first priority.
The resolutions passed in the joint sittings of Parliament contained similar recommendations, emphasizing the imperative need to review our national security strategy, in the context of an independent foreign policy, with focus on peace and reconciliation, and to attach the highest priority to dialogue.