RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has alleged that Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s chief, “is working for the establishment” and that he will not hesitate to cause political damage to any entity for “petty gains”.
The PPP’s barrage came during a press conference on Thursday called by Faisal Kundi, a former deputy speaker of the National Assembly, to rebut allegations made the previous day by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) that the PPP had “contacts with the establishment”.
“The PPP emerged as the largest opposition party after the 2002 elections, but Maulana Fazlur Rehman became the opposition leader,” Mr Kundi said, recalling the general election called by the Musharraf government.
Shazia Marri, the party’s information secretary, also spoke at the press conference.
Shazia Marri says rise in cost of living during PTI rule is unprecedented
“Instead of hurling allegations at PPP, they should first tell the nation at whose behest they are working against the Sindh government,” Shazia Marrti said.
“The Peoples Party has a clear vision and wants to change the federal and Punjab governments through no-confidence motions.”
She said although Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had founded the Pakistan Democratic Movement, he soon became disillusioned with the attitude of some parties as they were reluctant to “come out openly against the government”.
She said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had “lost its senses” after the “response Bilawal Bhutto received in south Punjab”.
Ms Marri said her party had rejected the recent hike in prices of petroleum products as it would have a knock-on effect on essential commodities.
“The rise in cost of living during PTI rule is unprecedented, but the government has nothing to help the common man except for giving lollipops,” he added.
She criticised National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser for misleading the media about the press gallery’s closure during the joint session of parliament by saying that the Parliamentary Reporters Association (PRA) had given its consent to the move.
“This is the first time the press gallery was closed. Not even an unelected government has taken such a draconian measure,” the PPP leader observed.
She wondered how come Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry was unaware about the press gallery’s closure.
In reply to a question about comedian Umar Sharif’s illness, Shazia Marri said it was regrettable that the prime minister had done nothing despite persistent appeals by the actor.
“The Sindh government has sanctioned Rs40 million for his treatment in the United States,” she added.
Shazia Marri took a swipe at Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Railways Minister Azam Swato for trying to browbeat the Election Commission of Pakistan into submission.
“We condemn such threats against a national institution.”
Faisal Karim Kundi said the coming local bodies elections would be a test for all opposition parties as well as the ruling party.
“The best way to get rid of this government is to bring a no-confidence motion,” Mr Kundi added.
Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2021