ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) will host a meeting of opposition parties today (Tuesday) in a bid to form a ‘grand opposition alliance’ to launch a fre­sh country-wide protest campaign against the government, which was only formed a month ago.

PTI leader and former speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser is hosting the meeting of opposition parties to form an alliance. How­e­ver, it is yet to be ascertained which of the opposition parties will take part.

A PTI source said that Mr Qaiser had contacted all parties intending to join the opposition alliance, including Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), and they all have assured him of their presence in the meeting.

He said that after the formation of the ‘grand alliance’, the PTI-led opposition would launch a countrywide protest campaign against the government, which the party believes came into power through “massive rigging”.

Omar Ayub expected to be named NA opposition leader today

Mr Qaiser is the head of a committee formed by PTI’s founding chairman Imran Khan to contact the leadership of other political parties after the Feb 8 general elections, and has previously met with the JUI-F leadership and others on several occasions.

Leader of the Opposition

Meanwhile, the National Assembly will likely see senior PTI leader Omar Ayub Khan being declared leader of the opposition.

“Under rule 39 (2) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly 2007, the count of the members voting for the opposition leader will be held on April 2 at 11 am,” said National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, while presiding over the NA session on Monday.

Rule 39 says that the speaker shall declare a member as leader of the opposition having the greatest numerical strength after verification of the signatures of the members.

The speaker said those who had not been signed nomination (of Omar Ayub) should sign before 6pm on Monday.

PTI sources told Dawn that party chief whip in the NA Amir Dogar has submitted the nomination of Omar Ayub in NA Secre­tariat by the designated time.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2024

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