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ANP holds PML-N, JUI-F responsible for breakdown of opposition alliance

ANP holds PML-N, JUI-F responsible for breakdown of opposition alliance

Awami National Party (ANP) leader Aimal Wali Khan has held the PML-N and the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) responsible for playing a major role in the breakdown of the opposition alliance – Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

Speaking to Dawn News on the show 'Live with Adil Shahzeb' on Tuesday night, Khan said political alliances do not work in this manner. "We can't even name this alliance the Pakistan Democratic Movement," he said.

He added that the ANP's politics was based on principles and, therefore, a decision was made to part ways with the PDM after his party was issued a show-cause notice for its support of the PPP for the Senate opposition leader slot.

Khan's statement came after the ANP announced it was opting out of the opposition alliance following the issuance of a show-cause notice to the party by PDM general secretary and PML-N senior vice president Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Speaking at a press conference at Bacha Khan Markaz, ANP Central Senior Vice President Ameer Haider Khan Hoti had said that there was no room for his party to remain part of the PDM after receiving the show-cause notice.

Meanwhile, Abbasi — who also made an appearance on the TV show — said he would speak to PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman about the ANP's departure from the alliance.

"Hoti is like my younger brother, but what he said in the press conference was unreasonable," the PML-N leader said.

On the other hand, PPP Senator Sherry Rehman said the rift between her party and PDM would not have escalated had both parties sat down together.

"It is ironic. The PDM was supposed to seek the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan but the PPP was being questioned about resignations from the provincial assemblies," she said.

"We can’t go along with someone else’s dictation,” she remarked, adding that two or three parties cannot dominate a political alliance. "A political alliance functions in a democratic way."

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Punjab Chief Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, reacting to the split in the opposition alliance, said people had started jumping ship from the PDM.

"The ANP has clearly stated that the alliance has been hijacked by certain parties. The PDM is being used to further personal agendas," she said.

She predicted that other parties in the group would also soon abandon ship. "The wounds inflicted by the PPP and the separation of the ANP have prolonged the mourning of the fake princess and the Maulana," she said in a reference to PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and the PDM chief.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Hoti said the decision to part ways with the PDM was taken in a special meeting of the ANP’s senior leaders, including presidents of all provincial chapters of the party, held in Peshawar.

Sharing details of differences in the PDM, Hoti had said ANP senators had not only supported PPP candidate former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani as leader of the opposition in the Senate election openly but had also provided reasons for its support.

The PDM is not a political party that could issue notices to its members, he had said, adding that the show-cause notice was meant to damage ANP’s political status.

He had elaborated that political parties issued show-cause notices under their constitutions, but the PDM had no constitution that authorised it to take action against its component parties.

The ANP leader had said the show-cause notice was based on mala fide intentions, as the PML-N should also have faced such action over its understanding with the PTI and PML-Q to get its candidates elected as senators unopposed in Punjab. However, no action had been taken against the PML-N, he had added.

“Abbasi as general secretary of the PDM was duty bound to convene a meeting of the alliance and seek an explanation. We have already explained our support to Gilani. He said some political parties were attempting to use the PDM’s platform for their personal agendas but ANP would not help anyone do so.”

Hoti said the PML-N also damaged the PDM agenda by fielding its candidate on a general seat in the Senate election in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which benefited the government.

While referring to the JUI-F–PTI alliance in Larkana during the by-election, the ANP leader had said that if those two parties could sit together in Sindh, then everything was possible in politics.

He had said Abbasi needed to avoid issuing notices in the absence of the ailing PDM chief. He should have avoided the move till the Maulana’s recovery, but he took the step in haste and left the opposition alliance meaningless, Hoti had claimed.

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