Rehbar panel to contact govt allies for ‘in-house change’

Updated December 22, 2019

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Opposition believed that electoral reforms should be introduced before calling for fresh elections in 2020. — DawnNewsTV/File
Opposition believed that electoral reforms should be introduced before calling for fresh elections in 2020. — DawnNewsTV/File

LAHORE: The opposition’s Rehbar Committee has decided in principle to establish contacts with the PTI government’s coalition partners in the coming week to kick start its efforts for an ‘in-house change’.

“The Rehbar Committee will start holding meetings with the allied parties of the government from next month to find out solution to the prevailing crises especially diplomatic and economic. Since the PTI government has a thin margin (in the National Assembly) its coalition partners (PML-Q, MQM and BNP-M) will have to decide whether they should continue providing support to the Imran Khan dispensation that plunged the country into a host of crises or play their role in steering Pakistan out of the quagmire,” PML-N secretary general Ahsan Iqbal told Dawn on Saturday.

To a question whether the opposition was optimistic about an in-house change, Mr Iqbal, who is also a member of the Rehbar Committee, said: “The government is so afraid of any such move that whosoever in the opposition speaks against it and is active in this respect is targeted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) at its (government) behest. Earlier, the NAB had summoned Rehbar Committee convener Akram Khan Durrani (of JUI-F) and now I have been called by NAB on Monday (in Narowal Sports Complex investigation).”

The PML-N leader said the opposition believed that after the in-house change electoral reforms should be introduced before calling for the fresh elections in 2020. “In the medical science, 2020 is referred to a clear vision…so this clear vision should be adopted in 2020 in Pakistani politics too,” he said.

Referring to PML-Q chief Shujaat Husain’s earlier remarks that if this situation (crises) continued no one would be willing to become premier after six months, Mr Iqbal said: “It is the right time that the allies of the PTI government should not be partner in crime with it and say goodbye to it,” he said.

Earlier, PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif supported the idea of an in-house change, saying the sooner the nation gets rid of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the better it is for the country.

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2019