ISLAMABAD: The much-hyped 11-party Opposition All Parties Conference (APC) hosted by Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is underway in federal capital. Former President Asif Ali Zardari, in his welcome address said that they will sent government packing to restore democracy and save the country. Foundation of a country is laid on democracy, after which prosperity follows, he added. Asif Zardari also thanked PML-N supremo for accepting PPP’s invitation and said that Benazir Bhutto signed charter of democracy with Nawaz Sharif and both parties cooperated to remove Musharraf from office and pass 18th amendment. He further said that 18th amendment is a wall around the constitution and because of this amendment, no one can look at the constitution with evil intensions. “We have never seen such stringent censorship across the country,” Zardari stated. “This reflects on the weakness of the government. It is impossible to curtail the emerging voices of the media. The ex-president also especially welcomed PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, saying he was “fully aware of the hardships you’ve been through and respect that”. “My solidarity is with Maryam Nawaz Sharif; she is like my daughters, she has suffered a lot in her struggle, and we stand by her. My message to Pakistani people is that we have not united together to save democracy in the country and with the press, we will win through this,” he added. Pakistan Muslim League-N supremo and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif then addressed participants via video link from London, marking his political comeback after more than a year. He started by thanking Zardari, saying he would not forget the love with which he spoke to him a day earlier. Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan has become a laboratory of “such experiments” and every child knows that no prime minister has been allowed to complete five years in power. It’s not even taken into account that the democratic structure of the country is demolished due to such tactics and the public loses faith in the system. PML-N supremo said that democracy is in danger and he agrees with Maulana Fazlur Rehman that we need to make this conference purposeful or people will be disappointed. “If we don’t do it [take a step] today, when will we?” asked Nawaz. Speaking about the 2018 elections, he said the primary reason for the current problems were those people who “hijacked the people’s mandate by putting inexperienced people in power”. He also repeated opposition’s allegation that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), with the connivance of PTI, was carrying out only “selective accountability”. Moments before the meeting, Bilawal Bhutto in a tweet, said that two years of ‘selected’ experiment have disastrous consequences for Pakistan. Today Pakistan’s opposition parties will unite to hold this regime to account.” He added Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has destroyed democracy, economy and foreign policy. Democracy is the best revenge, he added The opposition’s all parties conference against the government today will propose a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser and Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Bazdar, sources said.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) will propose the motion in the APC. In the first phase of the movement, there will be a no-confidence motion and rallies will be conducted. The APC will have suggestions from all members, however, the final declaration will be unanimous. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has also finalized its recommendations for APC. According to sources, PML-N will present suggestion of midterm elections, public processions in November to send government packing, combined fund for anti-government campaign and weekly protests outside assemblies. Sources also claimed that Maryam Nawaz was included into 11 member delegation to rebuff the reports of division in the party. The delegation will be led by Opposition Leader of National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif. Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has suggested that former Prime Minister and PML-N leader Mian Nawaz Sharif should be allowed to address the All Parties Conference (APC) as no major decision will be taken in the conference. Speaking exclusively on Dunya News program “Ikhtalafi Note”, the Federal Minister for Railways said that he was in favor of showing the speeches of fugitives involved in money laundering. He said the final decision will be made by the government. I was in favor of sending Nawaz Sharif out of country and I think whoever wants to go abroad should be allowed to leave. NNI