Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief and Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) head Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman had a telephonic conversation with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif today, after which the venue for the PDM’s February 5 rally was changed.

The 11-party opposition alliance, which includes the JUI-F, PML-N, and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), was due to hold a Kashmir day rally in Rawalpindi on February. Its venue has now been changed to Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

In a January 11 press briefing, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar had said that he sees no reason for the PDM to be rallying in Rawalpindi, where the Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters (GHQ) is located.  “If it all they want to come, we will take care of them and serve them tea. What more can I say,” he had remarked.

As reports of internal rifts within the PDM arise, with the PPP appearing at odds with the PML-N, it is suggested that Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman is acting as a mediator between the opposition parties. PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, in a speech in Larkana, had said that any amount of protests against the government will not be as useful as the passing of a no-confidence motion in the Parliament.

“No-confidence motion is a democratic way to send the incompetent government packing,” the PPP chairman said.

The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) government has only 180 members out of the 324-members of the National Assembly. Since PTI government has only 8 more than the required simple majority of 172, PPP believed that a no-confidence motion could be successful against the government. Some sources said that the timing of the no-confidence motion would be decided in a grand meeting of the opposition parties.


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