PDM issues show cause notices to PPP, ANP as opposition split widens

Published April 5, 2021
In this file photo, PDM president Maulana Fazlur Rehman along with PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz talk to the media after a meeting. —Tanveer Shahzad / White Star
In this file photo, PDM president Maulana Fazlur Rehman along with PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz talk to the media after a meeting. —Tanveer Shahzad / White Star

The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has served show cause notices to the PPP and the ANP (Awami National Party), it emerged on Monday.

The development was confirmed by PDM secretary general and PML-N stalwart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. It was not yet clear on what grounds the notices were issued, but earlier this week it was reported that they would be sent for not attending the alliance meeting on April 2 and violating its decision.

Speaking to Dawn News, Abbasi said that the show cause notices have been issued after approval from PDM President Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

"The notices have been sent on WhatsApp. Hard copies will be handed over during today's Senate session," he said, adding that both the parties have been given seven days to respond to the notices.

Whatever answer is received will be presented during a meeting of the opposition alliance's constituent parties, he said. "The PDM will decide the future course of action."

He also said that it was written on the notice that the opposition alliance will not make it public. However, both the parties can make them public if they wish to do so, he said.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Yousuf Raza Gilani confirmed that the PPP had received the notice.

Five parties within PDM form new bloc

Last week, the PDM decided to part ways with the PPP and ANP, and form a new alliance of five opposition parties having 27 members in the Senate. The decisions were taken at a meeting of senators of five opposition parties, minus the PPP and the ANP.

The five parties included the PML-N, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F), Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), National Party (NP) and Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal).

In the meeting, PDM President Maulana Fazlur Rehman was asked to serve show cause notices to the PPP and the ANP seeking explanation why both parties had violated the PDM decisions. At the meeting, questions were also raised why the two parties got votes of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) in the recent Senate polls and why an alliance was made with a ruling coalition partner.

These five opposition parties are angry over the PPP’s move to get the slot of the Senate opposition leader with the support of the independent senators who are known to be affiliated with Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), a party considered to be created by the establishment only weeks before the 2018 general elections and which is a partner with the PTI in the ruling coalition.

The differences within the PDM first came to the surface when the PPP, while backtracking from its earlier agreed formula regarding the distribution of the three top Senate offices, unilaterally nominated Gilani for the opposition leader’s office and started lobbying for it.

By now the relationship between the PPP and the PML-N has become so tense that the parties have started accusing each other of damaging the opposition’s unity with clandestine support of the establishment.

PPP can take on govt alone, says Bilawal

On Sunday, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had announced that the party was prepared to fight against the ‘selected’ government even if it would have to do opposition without the support of other parties.

“The PPP is not only ready to do opposition along with other parties but is also prepared to fight alone, as the party is sure that the ‘selected’ government will be sent packing,” vowed Bilawal while addressing a gathering at Naudero House on the 42nd death anniversary of former prime minister and PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

The PPP chairman also announced that on the insistence [of some PDM members] the party at its central executive committee meeting would discuss the issue of en masse resignations from assemblies.

“We will hold the government accountable for price hike, unemployment, for usurping your [people’s] economic, democratic and constitutional rights. We will also make them answerable for the PTI-IMF deal," he said.


Additional reporting by Nadir Guramani

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