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PPP leaders blame media and PML-N for fissures within the opposition 'alliance'

Updated August 27, 2018

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Senior PPP leader Qamaruz Zaman Kaira addresses media in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTV
Senior PPP leader Qamaruz Zaman Kaira addresses media in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTV

Senior PPP leaders Qamaruz Zaman Kaira and Chaudhry Manzoor on Monday refused to be held responsible for the frail nature of the grand opposition 'alliance', and instead blamed the PML-N and media for the growing fissures within the opposition camp.

In the aftermath of the July 25 elections, an alliance named “Pakistan Alliance for Free and Fair Elections" (PAFFE) featuring the PPP, PML-N and MMA was formed.

The seemingly formidable alliance, however, has since become embroiled in internal conflicts, first over the prime minister election and then on the upcoming presidential elections.

The latest conflict between the opposition parties emerged over PML-N's refusal to back PPP's Aitzaz Ahsan as a joint candidate for the presidential polls.

Casting a bleak shadow over the oppositions' future, Kaira, in a presser today, told the media not to "present the situation as if there was an [actual] alliance which the PPP broke".

"This was never the case — it was an arrangement, not an alliance," said Chaudhry Manzoor, adding that each party has a different manifesto.

Kaira contested the claim that the PPP had not consulted other parties before "suggesting" Ahsan's name.

"We went to Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Hasil Bazenjo [...] no one had any objections at Aitzaz Ahsan," he said, while blaming the media for misreporting a mere suggestion as an actual nomination.

"The PPP had decided to propose Ahsan's name [as a presidential candidate], which every party has a right to do," Kaira added. "This was reported in the media as a nomination instead of suggestion which it was."

"At this, other opposition parties rightly objected that we should have consulted them before finalising a nomination. Mian Raza Rabbani and Khursheed Shah then went to Lahore and clarified the situation and then our delegation did it again in Murree," he told reporters.

"We tried our best to get a joint candidate nominated and keep the opposition alliance together. Over presidential elections we did not part ways [with the opposition]. It is the PML-N who showed stubbornness."