Rift between two major parties of the opposition alliance the PDM, the PPP and the PML-N, is widening as they failed to reach a consensus on the issue of key slot in the Senate, the leader of the opposition.

Maryam Nawaz laid claim to the covet spot during a press conference after a meeting with PDM chief Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman on Sunday. She said that it was decided “in principle” at an alliance meeting that the position will go the PML-N.

Giving detail of the meeting, Maryam said during a sitting at the residence of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, it was decided to support Yousaf Raza Gilani for the office of chairman, Abdul Ghafoor Haideri for the slot of the deputy chairman, and the PML-N for the leader of the opposition.

Maulana Fazal agreed that it was the PML-N’s right to nominate the opposition leader as it the largest opposition party in the upper house. The PML-N is reportedly considering the names of Azam Nazeer Tarar and Sadia Abbasi for the position.

He dismissed the claim that the PDM is disintegrating. He, however, admitted that there are some issues that should be sorted out. But still, the things are under control.

Referring to the PPP’s reluctance to resign from assemblies, the Maulana expressed the hope that the PPP will respect the decision of nine parties in the PDM.

Meanwhile, there are insiders reports that the relations between the PML-N and the PPP are getting further strained as former prime minister Nawaz Sharif declined to talk to former president Asif Ali Zardari.

It is reported that Maulana Fazal is trying his best for a reproachment between the heads of the two parties. He spoke to both of them separately the day after the alliance meeting where Zardari refused to resign from the assemblies before the planned long march against the government.

Their relations further aggravated when the PPP co-chairman expressed reservations on the support for PML-N candidate Miftah Ismail in the by-election to NA 249.

PML-N Senior Vice President Shahid Khaqan Abbasi visited Zardari House to muster the PPP’s support for Miftah and met with Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

It is learnt that Bilawal did not give him any assurance and told him that the matter will be discussed in the meeting of party leadership. Abbasi has reportedly brought the matter into party chief’s notice. He, however, did not tell the sources what was the reaction of Nawaz Sharif.

Earlier, PPP leader Raja Pervez Ashraf has said that with 21 senators, the PPP is the largest opposition party in the Senate and the party has the right to claim the opposition leader’s slot.

He said in a statement that the two other most important parliamentary positions – the opposition leader in the National Assembly and the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee – are held by the PML-N.

He contended that it would be appropriate if the opposition leader be named from the PPP in the Senate.

He expressed the hope that the issue will be resolved amicably.


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