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PPP calls meeting of opposition parties

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari chairs the core committee meeting at Zardari House on Friday.—INP
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari chairs the core committee meeting at Zardari House on Friday.—INP

ISLAMABAD: The Pak­istan Peoples Party (PPP) has called a meeting of almost all opposition parties at Bilawal House here on Sunday on an Iftar-dinner to chalk out a joint strategy against the government against the backdrop of the recent price hike in the country.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the PPP’s core committee held at Zardari House on Friday, with party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in the chair.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PPP) leader Maryam Nawaz has also been invited to the meeting and she has given her assurance that she will attend it.

Others opposition leaders who have been invited to the meeting included Awami National Party president Asfandyar Wali, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai.

It is believed that the opposition leaders at the meeting would discuss formation of a grand opposition alliance against the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government.

Talking to Dawn, PPP chairman’s spokesperson Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar said Mr Bhutto-Zardari telephoned Ms Maryam to invite her to the meeting. He said Ms Maryam had assured that she would definitely take part in the meeting. He said the heads of other opposition parties had also accepted the invitation.

It would not be a multi-party meeting, but a huddle of all opposition parties in which their leaders would discuss the future line of action and formation of a grand alliance against the government.

Answering a question whether the PPP would join the PML-N’s protest for which it had planned to take people to the street after Eid, Mr Khokhar said there was a realisation in the PPP as well that the time had come when people should come out to the street against the faulty policies of the government. But, he added, the decision in this would be taken at Sunday’s meeting.

During Friday’s meeting, he said, the PPP opened all options to join the PML-N’s anti-government movement after Eid.

During the meeting, the PPP leaders discussed many issues, including recent price hike, the government’s deal with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout package and actions by the National Accountability Bureau against PPP leaders.

Mr Khokhar said the meeting also discussed the recently passed 26th Constitution Amen­dment for increasing seats for tribal areas in the National Assembly and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2019