The battle lines have been drawn clearly due to harsh remarks by the two major opposition parties Pakistan Democratic Movement Alliance (PDM) – Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
Although a ceasefire between the two biggest opposition parties has been declared, it does not appear to be able to save the six-month-old 10-party-anti-government alliance, which now appears to be “dead as a dodo”.
Background interviews with parliamentarians from both sides indicate that the PPP appears ready to split with the PDM – and PML-N – let Prime Minister Imran Khan laugh one last.
MPs were contacted following the appointment of PPP’s Yusuf Raza Gilani as leader of the opposition Senate, hours after he submitted his nomination application. PML-N wants a coveted post for its senator, claiming that the matter had been decided at a previous PDM meeting.
Also read: PML-N criticized the PPP for the appointment of Gilani as leader of the opposition Senate
“PDM is dead like a dodo, PPP has decided to go alone through the ‘mother of all deals’ and PML-N is left behind, alone, carrying a baby with bath water,” a PML-N senator said on condition of anonymity.
Publicly, the PDM is still intact but growing differences between the two largest opposition parties have sounded the death knell for the anti-government alliance. “The PDM is now dead and today has been indecently buried,” said the PML-N senator.
Under Senate rules, a period of two weeks after the election of Senate chairman is set to submit documents for the post of opposition leader. March 26 is the last date for submitting applications.
The PML-N senator claimed that the majority in PDM supported PML-N but “PPP passed it”. Acknowledging that the strategy of the collective struggle against the PTI was now in shambles, the senator said: “It is always a case of power politics. [PPP] vs people’s politics [PML-N]. “
“PPP plays on both sides of the net,” he insisted, adding: “[PPP] now prefer to position itself for a substantive role in the next round of elections, in 2023, by ‘soft induction’ in the current power structure, in accordance with the rules of the game established by the government. “
The lawmaker admits that the problem with PML-N’s strategy is that it doesn’t have a “Plan B” and it is the fact that the party woke up to a rather harsh surprise – politically beaten by former president Asif Zardari and his son. Adopting an extreme approach, he added, was another mistake of the PML-N leadership.
A PPP senator, while exposing the other side of his story, said that PML-N MPs publicly “lied” that PML-N would hand over the post of chairman of the opposition in the Senate to PPP. it asked him.
“Zardari Sahib tried to contact Nawaz Sharif but Ishaq Dar told him that no discussion could be held on the matter,” the PPP lawmaker revealed, adding that all PML-N did was finalize Senator Azam Nazir Tarar’s name for the slot; informed the PPP about it and started the paper submission process in the Senate two days ago.
The PPP leadership said the party leadership registered its protest against Tarar’s candidacy but the PML-N leadership was adamant that “this is a problem that has been resolved for us and we cannot talk about it”.
The PPP leadership added that “the future of the PDM is in their hands [PML-N] hands but one thing is clear that things will not work out if they continue to dictate to us. We are neither stupid nor ready to obey orders ”.
Also read: PPP uses PDM for personal gain: PML-N
The senator, referring to the leader of the opposition PML-N in the National Assembly and chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), said the PML-N cannot have all three offices in parliament, especially when they close the door to discussions about the leader of the opposition slot in the upper house of parliament.
Responding to PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal’s statement that the PPP considered the senators from the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) to be more trustworthy, the legislator said that PPP had a say in gaining the position of opposition leader even without an independent member from Balochistan. .
The MP confirmed that the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and the Awami National Party (ANP) together with independent senators from the former Federal Tribal Region (Fata) supported the PPP along with a group of four senators formed by Senator Dilawar.
Responding to arguments that the PPP had damaged the opposition alliance, the lawmaker said the PPP had no question of motive, as Chaudhrys of Gujrat brokered a grand deal between the government and the opposition that paved the way for Senate elections in Punjab without a vote.
Prior to the Senate vote, the Chaudhrys – Shujaat Hussain and Parvaiz Elahi – had used their experience and contacts across party lines to ensure that each party got its share in the Senate polls of the country’s largest province. “We [PPP] never called the agreement in Punjab an arrangement or we didn’t make any accusations, ”the lawmaker concluded.