LAHORE: The All Opposition Parties Conference on Monday resolved to consider forming a ‘grand opposition alliance’ against the ruling PML-N for the local body polls.
At the meeting called by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, the representatives of different parties floated the proposal of forming a grand alliance.
PTI leader and Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly, Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed rejected the proposal saying the opposition alliance would not be possible at district and local tier.
An opposition party leader said it was high time that prudent decisions were taken to defeat the PML-N. He suggested that the opposition parties should treat respective leaders equally and form alliance to combat the ‘might’ of the PML-N.
Conference opposes election in phases
PTI Punjab Organiser Chaudhry Sarwar, who chaired the meeting at party chairman’s secretariat, however, did not reject the idea outrightly and suggested another marathon meeting later on, claimed sources.
Speaking at a news conference flanked by opposition parties’ leaders, Chaudhry Sarwar demanded that the incumbent government hold local body elections on time and that, too, simultaneously across the province. It also demanded that the elections be held on direct electoral basis.
“The local polls in phases will facilitate the ruling PML-N to rig the elections more conveniently,” he said.
On a question about PTI’s inclination towards calling the opposition parties to build pressure on the PML-N government, Mr Sarwar said in politics parties continued to hold dialogues on different issues to build consensus.
PPP leader Shaukat Basra said politics was the game of possibilities. He said all political parties were being represented in the assemblies and added that the opposition parties would also approach courts against the local body ordinance that called for holding LG polls on an indirect basis and in phases in Punjab.
Mr Sarwar said the PML-N government was trying to delay local polls on the pretext of floods.
On the other hand, he said, the PML-N was distributing development funds among its MNAs and MPAs, including those who had lost general elections, and ignoring the opposition parties’ elected representatives.
He acknowledged that the PPP during its tenure used to give the allocated funds to all members irrespective of party affiliation.
He said the opposition parties also demanded that the Election Commission of Pakistan avoid holding local polls using Punjab bureaucracy as it always remained under the influence of the ruling elite.
Earlier in the meeting, it was learnt that a couple of representatives of opposition parties suggested that the Kasur case should be referred to army courts. However, some parties’ representatives did not endorse the idea saying that being politicians they should not promote military courts. PTI’s Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed, Mian Aslam Iqbal, PPP’s Shaukat Basra, Jamaat-i-Islami’s Ameerul Azeem, Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s Basharat Jaspal and PML-Q’s Mian Munir and Amna Ulfat attended the meeting.
Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2015