ISLAMABAD   -   The All Parties Conference (APC) of the opposition Wednesday declared the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government a ‘huge security risk’ but fell short of announcing countrywide protests.

The APC also did not take a final decision on the fate of Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani but decided to consider the option of removing him after further consultations.

According to sources, the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz rejected the idea of resigning from assemblies, saying it would weaken the opposition rather than putting pressure on the government.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman presided over the APC summoned to formulate a joint strategy and future course-of-action against the government.

The cleric proposed observing July 25 as a “black day” to protest against the alleged rigging in the general elections last year. He also suggested that the opposition parties should quit the assemblies which could pave the way for snap polls.

The PPP and the PML-N, however, maintained that they should remain part of the assemblies to effectively push their stance both in and outside the parliament, said the sources.

“No decision was made for a big agitation [to oust the government],” said one participant of the meeting.

At the APC, the PPP delegation was led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari while PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif spearheaded his party’s 14-member team.

Shehbaz Sharif, at the meeting, urged the opposition to unite for the sake of the nation that “is reeling under the anti-people budget” which should be shot down.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also said the opposition must work jointly to stop the government from taking ‘anti-people’ steps.

He said the people had high expectations from the APC and the opposition parties should work not to disappoint them. Bilawal said all decisions must be taken through consultations.

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said the national economy  was in an “abject” shape and the people were looking towards the opposition for relief.

“Our fight is not with [Prime Minister] Imran Khan but with those who have selected him,” she was quoted as saying by sources close to the meeting.

ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan suggested that Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani should be replaced through joint efforts to earn the nation’s trust for the opposition.

An 11-member committee was formed to formulate the joint statement of the APC after taking into consideration all recommendations.

 Joint declaration

The joint declaration issued after the meeting declared that the PTI government had become a threat to national integrity, sovereignty and interests.

The declaration said that the poor were suffering because of the disastrous policies of the government. The prevalent political scenario is paving the way for a violent revolution, it warned.

The opposition parties claimed that the PTI-led government was fulfilling the interests of foreign elements, and has become a huge security risk.

 Other Participants of APC

The PPP delegation at the opposition meeting included former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani, Raza Rabbani, Nayyar Bukhari, Sherry Rehman and Farhatullah Babar.

The PML-N included ex-PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Raja Zafarul Haq, Ahsan Iqbal, Ayaz Sadiq, Amir Muqam, Abdul Qadir Baloch, Shah Muhammad Shah, Marriyum Aurangzeb and Ranasana Ullah.

Qaumi Watan Party chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, and some members from Awami National Party also attended the APC.

Balochistan National Party (Mengal) Chief Akhtar Mengal decided not to participate in the APC. He, however, forwarded his written message to the JUI-F chief through Maulana Asad Mehmood.

In a later development, Prime Minister Imran Khan held a meeting with a delegation of the BNP-M led by Mengal. They discussed the progress on Mengal’s six-point agenda and development works in Balochistan.

Prior to the APC, the parliamentary parties of the opposition held separate meetings inside the National Assembly to formulate their strategy for the budget session.

Maryam Nawaz met her uncle Shehbaz Sharif at the Ministers Enclave to discuss matters related to the opposition moot.

Later, speaking to journalists, Shehbaz Sharif said the opposition had made every effort to make the APC called by Maulana Fazlur Rehman a success.