Hina Parvez Butt of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Sharmila Faruqi of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) seem to be trading barbs over Twitter as fate of the joint opposition’s Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) hangs in balance amid widening cracks.

While rumour has it that a deal has been struck, pundits believe that the PPP could soon be backstabbing the PML-N and other PDM member parties despite being on the same page to oust the government until a month ago.

Differences have cropped between the PPP and the PDM over the issue of resignations from the assemblies and also on the election of Sherry Rehman or Yousaf Raza Gilani as leader of the opposition in the Senate. Both the PPP and PML-N — two of the largest political parties that are a part of the anti-government alliance — have intensified lobbying to win maximum votes for the slot.


PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman have strongly opposed Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s idea and asked him to stick to the original agreement agreed upon in the PDM meeting according to which the alliance had to support Yousaf Raza Gilani for the slot of Senate chairman while the PML-N would get the slot of leader of the opposition.

With the gulf between PPP and its allies in the PDM growing, Chairman Bilawal has reportedly intensified contacts with like-minded opposition parties hinting at an independent opposition alliance in the making.

Amid reports of trade of barbs between Maryam and Bilawal, it has emerged that other party leaders are following suit.

“Selection does not run in our veins but then there are some who always were [selected],” PPP’s Faruqi tweeted in an apparent jibe at the PML-N, a day after Bilawal referred to a “family from Lahore that had always been selected [by the establishment to run the country]”.

She was reacting to a tweet by PML-N’s Parvez, who had called out an “aasteen ka saanp [an ally who betrays]”.

While the two did not take any names, the exchange falls conveniently in time for netizens to assume the insults were aimed at each other amid deteriorating ties.