ISLAMABAD   -   As the six-day deadline of Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan to announce another anti-government long march to Islamabad expired a day earlier, some recent developments indicate that differences exist within the opposition party on how to move forward to execute its primary agenda to force the government to announce early elections.

There are disagreement within the opposition party not only regarding the holding of  long march but also to engage with the international human rights organizations to “discredit” the incumbent government at international forums, to return to the National Assembly and about the party narrative in public rallies, some recent political statements and sources privy to the development revealed.

One of the issues came into the limelight on Thursday when senior lawyer and PTI Senator Syed Ali Zafar publicly disagreed with its own party leader and former human rights minister Dr Shireen Mazari for asking the UN and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to take notice of alleged use of force by the government against party workers and leadership during the May 25 protest march.

“Politically motivated harassment of opposition by the Government is an internal matter of Pakistan to be resolved politically and by our own courts. I do not agree that Pakistan’s internal issues should be taken to the United Nations,” Senator Ali said in a Twitter statement. In any case, the UN does not have any legal authority to resolve this internal matter, he also said.

Last week, Dr Mazari had written separate letters to different special rapporteurs of the UN urging them to take notice of “gross violations of human rights and use of excessive violence by the Government of Pakistan” against a “peaceful political march” by PTI.

The public disagreement of the PTI’s senior lawyer shows how differences exist between some senior leaders of the party over the party’s modus operandi to deal with the key matters in connection with its anti-government movement.

The official sources said that there is also a disagreement within the PTI leadership over holding another second long march as a group within the party thinks that this move can again backfire. They are of the view that the party had failed to pull a large number of supporters in its May 25 “Haqiqi Azadi March” from Punjab and this can happen again. They argue that the decision to hold May 25 march has forced ex-premier Khan to limit his activities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to the fear of arrest while before this, he was leading his political campaign countrywide. They view that the chances of the success of the second long march also look dim when some powerful quarters also oppose this idea thinking that this protest would further cause damage to the already fragile economy of the country that is on the brink of collapse.

On May 26, Chairman PTI Khan had called off his protest long march abruptly while addressing his supporters at the main Jinnah Avenue of Islamabad. He had given a six-day deadline to the government to announce the early election with the warning that he would announce another march if his demand was not met.

Another cause of discord within the party is its earlier decision to resign en masse from the National Assembly. A major group of PTI lawmakers want that the opposition party should return to the lower house of the parliament to become a major stakeholder in the appointment of future caretaker set up of the country despite in other matters. Former prime minister Khan, the other day, in his interaction with the journalists rejected this notion saying that the move would be tantamount to accepting an “imported” government.

On Wednesday, former information minister and PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry had also indicated that PTI can withdraw from its decision to resign from the National Assembly but only if the government announces the date of fresh election.

The fourth issue of disagreement within the party leadership is the use of “narrative” by the party in public rallies. The sources said that a group within the party wanted Khan to avoid using harsh narrative against the government and the power-that-be as part of his strategy to force both to concede to his demand of early election. These party leaders who enjoy good relations with the establishment oppose the idea by saying that the move would prove counterproductive.