ISLAMABAD: In a grand show of the opposition parties for the first time since PTI Government was formed last year, it was decided on Sunday that the opposition will give tough time to the government after the Eid festive next month. Leaders of ten opposition parties, including Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), gathered at the Iftar dinner hosted by chairman PPPBilawalBhutto Zardari here at the Zardari House on Sunday. It was a grand show as leaders of all the opposition parties were seen united to discussthe strategy to run a political campaign against the government of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Maryam Nawaz was leading the delegation of PML-N leaders including former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Punjab Assembly opposition Leader Hamza Shehbaz, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Pervaiz Rashid. PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader Liaquat Baloch, Qaumi Watan Party Chairman Aftab Sherpao, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leadership among other prominent politicians attended the dinner. Different leaders of PPP including Yousaf Raza Gilani, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, Farhatullah Babar, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Rehman Malik, Chaudhry Manzoor, Naveed Qamar, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, Humayun Khan and Pulwasha Khan were also present on the occasion. Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party’s Mahmood Khan Achakzai couldn’t attended the dinner and had sent a party delegation on his behalf. Jamaat-e-Islami’s Sirajul Haq and Awami National Party’s Asfandyar Wali also did not attend it either. From Awami National Party (ANP) Aimal Asfand Yar Wali and Zahid Khan participated in the Iftar dinner. It was unanimously decided that the opposition will launch protests inside and outside the parliament after Eidul Fitr and hold an All Parties Conference (APC) to “chalk out a joint strategy on how to tackle the problems facing Pakistan”. The announcement was made by PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari at a press conference that followed an iftar-dinner he hosted at Zardari House in Islamabad and which was attended by a delegation of arch rivals-turned-allies PML-N and other major opposition parties. Bilawal said; “We have decided to keep on meeting to discuss Pakistan’s issues and find solutions to the people’s problems”. He also said that JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman has called an All Parties Conference (APC) after Eid where a joint strategy against the government will be finalised. Nawaz Sharif: Meanwhile, meeting with PML-N leaders in Kot Lakhpat jail, Nawaz Sharif advised them to start campaign after Eid and solo motive of the protest should be ‘respect to vote plus’. Observers commented that this is first time that former prime minister has started politics from his jail room.