PPP to join PDMs long march


The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has accepted the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) invitation to join its long march, according to the opposition alliance’s leader.

“I had to go invite [PPP Co Chairperson] Asif Ali Zardari to participate in the long march, but he came to us first,” JUI-F president Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who also heads the PDM, told reporters following a meeting with PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif at the former’s residence.

“He [Zardari] told me that he had already accepted the invitation before I could invite him.”

The JUI-F head told a reporter to keep his question concerning the time of the PDM’s long march and rally to himself. “You will not get a response now as to who would take out the rally from where and when.”

Shehbaz, who is also the head of the opposition in the National Assembly, spoke on the occasion, expressing his support for the impending Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) session and praying for its success.

“On March 23, the OIC visitors will arrive. We pray for the success of the OIC conference, regardless of our political differences with this government.” PML-N leaders Rana Sanaullah, Saad Rafique, Ayaz Sadiq, and Malik Ahmad khan were present at the meeting between the two leaders.

Senator Kamran Murtaza, Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, and other JUI-F leaders were also in attendance. The two parties reviewed the country’s broader political situation as well as the government’s no-confidence motion.

A PPP delegation led by Zardari had previously visited the JUI-F chief at his home and shared opinions on how to make the no-trust approach succeed. Shehbaz and Fazl also met with members of the MQM-leadership, P’s including Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Aminul Haque, Aamir Khan, and Khawaja Izharul Hassan.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal, and Marriyum Aurangzeb, all of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), were also present. In a post-meeting interview with the media, Haque, who is also the federal minister of information technology and telecommunications, said that his party was never interested in ministries and was more concerned with the problems faced by urban dwellers.

He went on to say that allies were still meeting.

“I’ll mention three things that we want: the democratic system to be preserved, parliament’s sovereignty to be preserved, and law and order to be preserved throughout the country.”

Rafique, a member of the PML-N, said the party was ready to protect constitutional and fundamental rights.

“We will be a one-of-a-kind, national government for the first time.” He went on to say that the conversations had gone well, which was why the MQM-P had come to see them today. The ruling party’s leadership, including its president Chaudhry Shujaat and his cousin Parvez Elahi, have arrived in Lahore after requesting the office of Punjab chief minister from both the government and opposition.

Separately, federal ministers Asad Umar, Pervez Khattak, and Fawad Chaudhry, among others, met Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Bani Gala mansion for a consultative session.

Contacts with allies were examined, as well as recent remarks and an action plan. Imran Ismail, the governor of Sindh, also paid a visit to the prime minister and informed him on the talks with the allies, particularly the MQM-P. The PTI rally on March 27 was also discussed.


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