ISLAMABAD - Baffled with the onslaught and targeting of opposition parties’ leaders by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf, the mainstream parties in opposition have decided to join hands against the government and devise some counter-strategy to push back the ruling elite on defensive.
Sources aware of the developments taking place on this front informed The Nation on Sunday that it was decided to call the moot of opposition parliamentary parties’ heads in next few days -- most probably the convenient time would be during the upcoming National Assembly session tentatively starting from February 18.
The sources further informed that in the last meeting of the opposition parties heads in the chamber of Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, almost a month back, it was decided that the opposition parties should join hands to give tough time to the ruling alliance both within and outside the Parliament but so far they (opposition parties) failed to put something on ground.
Though both Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari attended the meeting and reportedly the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere. After the meeting both Zardari and Shahbaz Sharif had expressed their resolve to strengthen the joint opposition but their words could not be translated into reality although an eight-member committee was also formed to devise a way forward.
The committee formed following the opposition parties’ huddle included Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Rana Tanveer Hussain and Rana Sanallah from PML-N, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Khursheed Shah and Sherry Rehman from PPP while from ANP Ameer Haider Khan Hoti and from JUI-F Maulana Abdul Wasay was the member.
Since its constitution the committee had not even met for once what to speak of holding any talks for devising some joint strategy against the government, the sources in the PPP informed adding that it seemed that the wide chasm of mistrust between PPP and PML-N could hardly be bridged.
Once again after the fresh spate of criticism and onslaught against the opposition parties the saner elements in both PPP and PML-N stressed the need of uniting the opposition parties against the government which besides threatening the opposition parties leadership was out to cause irreparable loss to the system.
Especially the demand from some of the federal cabinet members seeking resignation of Leader of Opposition Shahbaz Sharif from the post of Chairman Public Accounts Committee was dubbed as bulldozing of the parliamentary norms evolved over the long period of time, a senior PPP leader said adding that on this point the PPP would not only stand behind the PML-N but would also resist any such move at all levels.
Parliamentary sources said that though in the 30-member Public Accounts Committee it would not be an easy task for the government to vote out Shahbaz Sharif but the way they were exerting pressure for his resignation showed that the government wanted to vitiate the smooth functioning of the Parliament.
The sources in opposition PML-N said that the party was aware of the intention of ruling PTI but would not easily surrender its stake on PAC chairmanship and with the help of other opposition parties would frustrate their plan.
These sources confirmed that during the upcoming National Assembly session they would try to hold the parliamentary parties heads of opposition parties to work out a strategy to deal with such undemocratic moves of the ruling alliance.