LAHORE: Opposition parties have decided to devise a strategy for the ouster of the incumbent “failed government” in post-Eid meeting, PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif said Tuesday.
The two leaders were holding a press conference following a series of meetings that the opposition leaders convened today ahead of the All Parties Conference that is set to take place soon after Eid ul Adha.
“PPP, PML-N, and other opposition parties are unified and have formed a consensus that the incumbent government has made historic damages to the country’s economy,” Shehbaz said, as he stood beside Bilawal and various members of the PPP and PML-N leaders.
The PML-N president said that inflation has reached sky-high proportions in Pakistan amid the coronavirus, despite prices of the same commodities being lower around the globe.
“Unfortunately, the government has no answer for this,” he lamented.
“In my entire political career, I have never seen a shortage of wheat arising before the harvesting of the commodity. Even the government ministers are surprised at this,” he said.
“We also witnessed a crisis of petrol after which a historic Rs35 hike was observed in the price,” he said, adding: “The incumbent government has made the lives of the people absolutely miserable.”
He said that several people lost their livelihoods due to the policies adopted by the government and that, now, even if a businessman is assured of safety, no one would be interested in investing their capital during this government’s tenure.
Shehbaz said he believes that the “selected government” is not capable of running the country’s affairs and it has “failed completely” and that it poses “a danger to the people” if it stays in office any further.
“Today, in the meeting with Bilawal, it was decided that after Eid, the Rehbar committee would discuss the prevalent issues and the recommendations would be forwarded to the APC (All Parties Conference),” he said, adding that the APC will then finalse the plan of action to be taken to oust the government.
Replying to a question on the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Shehbaz said that the Opposition wanted to end the “fascist” policy of the anti-graft watchdog and stressed that the opposition is not against accountability in the country.
The PML-N leader said that the Supreme Court, the Islamic Ideological Council, and bar associations had advised the government to revisit the accountability body’s law.
‘Imran a danger to people’s lives’
Taking over the press conference, Bilawal said that the coronavirus situation and Shehbaz’s health were moving towards betterment and termed it good news for the country.
Voicing Shehbaz’s concerns, he said that the PTI-led government had become “a danger to the people’s lives”, health and the country’s economy.
“All the political parties are on a single page — to oust the incumbent government,” he said.
This is the first government in the history of Pakistan during whose tenure, there have been thefts in sugar, wheat, petrol, and basic commodities, Bilawal said.
The PPP chair questioned why “no probe is ever initiated against the corruption scandals linked with PTI-leaders”.
“No other government has given as many NROs as PTI.”
Bilawal said that the Opposition will continue to struggle to secure the fundamental rights of the people of Pakistan.
Replying to a question, he said that mid-term elections and an in-house change are on the cards and that it would be discussed in the APC.
Bilawal meets Fazl
The leaders of the main opposition parties held back to back meetings today in order to decide the strategy to launch an anti-government movement after Eid ul Adha and finalise the agenda for the upcoming APC.
Bilawal first met JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman at a hotel today and later went to meet Shehbaz at his Model Town residence in the provincial capital.
Speaking to media after their meeting, Bilawal and Fazlur Rehman spoke of the Opposition’s path going forward.
Bilawal said in the meeting they discussed the APC to be held after Eid ul Adha. A decision pertaining to the midterm elections would be made through the platform of a united Opposition, he added, noting that they wished to resolve the nation’s challenges as soon as possible.
“Whatever we talked about today, its results will begin to appear after Eid,” the PPP chairman said.
On the other hand, Fazl underlined that the Rehbar Committee would formulate proposals as an agenda, based on which the APC would be convened.
“In the last elections [of 2018], the common man’s mandate was stolen. We want that back,” the JUI-F leader stressed.
“The steps the government took over the past two years have raised questions about the survival of the state,” he added. “Once [Prime Minister] Imran Khan departs, our first priority will be to bring back on track the country’s economy.”
Fazl discusses political situation with Shehbaz
Shehbaz and Fazl agreed to hold a Rehbar Committee meeting after Eid-ul-Azha to send the incumbent PTI-led government packing.
The JUI-F chief had visited the PML-N leader at his Model Town residence yesterday where the two discussed the country’s political situation and talked about a strategy against the PTI-led government.
Shehbaz had slammed the government for failing to control the petrol, flour, and other crises, saying the PTI leadership had given nothing to the people of Pakistan. Terming it the right time to get rid of the regime, he had noted that the Azadi March held by Fazl earlier this year was a big political show.
Fazl, on the other hand, had said all Opposition parties were on the same page — that the PTI government had been formed after rigging in the 2018 general election. He had underlined that the poor and destitute had been steeped in an economic crisis caused by the incumbent leadership.
The one-on-one meeting between the two lasted for an hour and a half. Both leaders had agreed that an agenda to send the government packing would be presented in the APC meeting.