PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday announced that the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) has called upon its members to resign from all positions of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), a private TV channel reported.
“CEC has rejected the show-cause notice issued to PPP by other PDM parties and directed all its office-bearers in PDM to submit their resignations from these offices with immediate effect in protest of the attitude, conduct and actions of other office-bearers of the PDM,” the PPP chief told a news conference organised to brief about the matters that came under discussion during the recently held CEC meeting of the party. “The PPP demands an unconditional apology to the ANP and PPP for this obnoxious attitude,” he said.
The PPP chief said no party ‘should try and impose their will and dictation on any other political party’. “PPP rejects the so-called show-cause notice. Politics is done with equality and respect,” he said, adding that those who wanted to resign from the Parliament are free to do so.
Bilawal said the CEC has come to the conclusion that resignations from the national and provincial assemblies should be ‘like an atom bomb’. “PPP’s stance that the opposition should not abandon the Parliament and the Senate battleground has been vindicated,” he said, adding that if the PPP had listened to other political parties in the opposition and boycotted the Senate elections and by-elections, then it would have harmed democracy. “We did not give the PTI government an open field to form a two-thirds majority in the Senate,” he said, adding that the government lost on its ‘own pitch’ when the PDM candidate won from the Noushera by-election.
The PPP chief said other PDM parties had never addressed the PPP’s concerns regarding the ‘dangers’ of abandoning the parliament when the government’s majority is so ‘slim’. “We will not undermine the gains the PPP has achieved at the whims of another party. Those who wish to resign should do so but no one should try and impose their will and dictation on any other political party,” he added, declaring that the PPP will continue on the path of ‘consistent and firm opposition of the government’. “We will not undermine these gains that the PPP has achieved after giving many sacrifices,” he said. “When the PML-N was in power, we protected the Parliament then and we will protect the Parliament today,” he added.
Bilawal said the PPP stands by the ANP and would not abandon them under any circumstances. “There is no concept of show-cause notices in democratic alliances,” he added.
He recounted the PPP’s participation in the movement for the restoration of democracy and the alliance for the restoration of democracy. “We condemn the politics of opposition against members of the opposition,” he said, adding that his party’s doors were open for all other parties, adding that there should be a ‘working relationship’ among them.
Apparently referring to the actions of other PDM parties, Bilawal said no show-cause notice had been issued “when someone was given the permission to go abroad by circulation; when muk-muka (secret deal) was done with the PTI and GDA in Sindh; when muk-muka has been going on in Punjab with the PTI and [Chief Minister Usman] Buzdar for three years; when there was no implementation on the PDM action plan; [and] when there was violation of the PDM action plan”.
He noted that it was written in the PDM action plan that the opposition parties would use ‘democratic and parliamentary tools’ and the ‘weapon of no-confidence [motion] in Punjab and the Centre’. “No show-cause notice was given when these democratic tools were not used,” he said. Among other items on the CEC’s agenda, Bilawal criticised the government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), terming it an “anti-people deal and against the interests of the public”. “This new [IMF] tranche’s burden is on the common man and we condemn it and demand that Pakistan come out of this deal. It is a bad and wrong deal; it is not in the financial interests of the people of Pakistan,” he said.
Bilawal alleged that the government wanted to take away the State Bank of Pakistan’s oversight through an ordinance under which the central bank would not be answerable to anyone, “only to the IMF”. “This will harm our economic sovereignty, it is a historic attack,” he said, announcing that the PPP would oppose the ordinance when it was laid in the parliament and will also challenge it in the courts.