The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have announced to hold an ‘All Parties Conference’ (APC) after Eidul Azha in order to discuss strategies to “get rid of this government”.
Addressing a joint press conference, PPP’s Qamar Zaman Kaira and PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal said that a coordination committee meeting will be held this week to discuss the APC agenda.
The presser was held after a meeting between PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and a three-member PML-N delegation at Bilawal House, Lahore. The PML-N delegation included Iqbal, Khawaja Saad Rafique and Ayaz Sadiq, while PPP’s Kaira, Chaudhry Manzoor and Hasan Murtaza also attended the meeting.
Addressing reporters, Kaira said that opposition parties will “complete our homework” before Eidul Azha and discuss strategies to oust the government in the APC.
“The opposition feels that Pakistan will face several external and internal dangers [if] this government remains in power,” Iqbal said. “[Considering] what is happening in our region, we need internal unity but this government only has a vengeful agenda with which it is disintegrating the country.
“In this situation, the country’s two biggest opposition parties agree that to get rid of this incompetent government will be representative of this country’s 220 million people.”
Ahsan also criticised the government for trying to introduce a law that is “twice as bad” as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in order to put an end to terror financing and comply with Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) guidelines. The law, he said, would allow authorities to arrest a suspect for 90 days without getting a remand and the detention can be extended without allowing the suspect to obtain a bail.
“FATF members are not telling Pakistan to turn the country into a fascist state through legislation [to stop terror financing],” the PML-N MNA said and added that the move was “defaming FATF, the international community and the United Nations”. He said that while the opposition was in favour of compliance with FATF guidelines, it would not allow the government to curb individual rights and freedom.
He accused the government of making people’s lives difficult by pushing them into poverty, throttling the media and isolating the country in the international community.
In response to a question regarding Maryam Nawaz’s participation in the upcoming meetings, Iqbal said that “no one has played as huge a role in public mobilisation than” the former premier’s daughter. He added that she will play her role when it came to public mobilisation.
Separately, Ahsan Iqbal, in a conversation with The Current, said that the APC would provide opposition parties a chance to present a unified stance on how to bring change in the government, which the entire opposition believes has thoroughly been exposed for its “incompetence and making irreparable damage to country’s economy and governance”.
“A joint opposition coordination committee comprising of senior leaders from all parties has been formed to work out options for the APC to be meaningful,” he said.