Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) secretary-general and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday said that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto must adopt a responsible attitude when issuing statements, adding that the PDM does not need to issue an apology to anyone.
He was referring to PPP’s announcement earlier today to resign from all positions of the PDM in response to a show-cause notice served to the party.
PPP chairman Bilawal had also asked the PDM to “apologise to the PPP and the ANP for showing an obnoxious attitude.”
Speaking during Geo News’ programme “Captial Talk”, Abbasi said no one is going to issue an apology to the PPP, adding the party has tried to damage the narrative of the PDM, so it should clarify its position.
“Once the PPP clarifies its actions, the PDM would decide whether to continue its alliance with the party or not,” Abbasi said.
He went on to say that the PPP must reestablish its trust in the PDM if it wants to continue being a part of the alliance.
“The things that Bilawal Bhutto is saying is not going to re-establish the party’s trust in the PDM,” Abbasi said, adding that any party which fails to keep its word cannot survive within the PDM.
Regarding PPP’s Yousuf Raza Gilani’s appointment as the Leader of the Senate — a move which caused rifts within the Opposition’s multi-party alliance — Abbasi said that had the PPP taken the PDM into confidence and expressed its desire to hold offices, [things would have been different].
“The next meeting of the PDM will be held under the chairmanship of Maulana Fazlur Rehman,” the general secretary said, adding that the PDM will create a strategy related to the future course of action.
Responding to a question, Abbasi said that the PPP has its own strategy and choices, therefore, it is entitled to make decisions as it sees fit.
“If the PPP want to clarify its statements, then it is free to do so. Otherwise, the PDM will make an announcement following the next meeting,” Abbasi said.
Abbasi also maintained that the PDM did not have a “fight” with the PPP, adding that if the PPP has decided to part ways with the PDM, it would not make a difference because PDM is a movement.
Regarding the matter of resignations from the parliament, Abbasi said that the PDM will take its own decisions rather than listening to what Bilawal Bhutto has said.
Abbasi also said that the PDM did not issue a “show-cause notice” to the PPP or the ANP, rather it only sought clarification from the parties regarding their statements.
“The PDM does not need to apologise to anyone,” he said. “Anyone who would break the trust of the multi-party alliance will suffer the consequences. Parties can go, but the movement will continue.”
PPP parts ways with the PDM
Earlier in the day, PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had 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).
Flanked by party leaders, Bilawal held a news conference to speak about the matters that came under discussion during the recently-held Central Executive Committee meeting of the party.
He said the CEC had come to the conclusion that resignations from the national and provincial assemblies should be “like an atom bomb”.
Bilawal said the PPP’s stance that the Opposition should not “abandon the Parliament and the Senate battleground” had been vindicated.
He said 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 Nowshera by-election.
“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.”
Taking a jibe at the PDM, Bilawal said those who wanted to resign from the Parliament, should do so.
“But, no one should try to impose their will or their dictation on any other political party,” he said. “And the Pakistan Peoples Party will continue in its firm, consistent Opposition to the selected government that has been ongoing since day one and has not broken for a single day,” stressed the PPP chairperson.
“The Pakistan Peoples Party rejects the so-called show-cause notice,” he said, referring to the notice the PDM had served it a few days ago.
“Politics is done with equality and respect,” he added.
Bilawal demands apology from PDM
Bilawal Bhutto also demanded an “unconditional apology” from the PDM to the ANP and to the PPP for demonstrating an “obnoxious attitude” [in the form of serving show-cause notices].
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 said.
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.
The PPP chairperson said his party’s doors were open for all other parties, adding that there should be a “working relationship” among them.