After spending months on by-polls and Senate elections preparations as a part of its anti-government drive, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has circled back to the issue of mass resignations.

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) opposes the idea, while the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) want to quit parliament to pressurise the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

And then there’s the long march: the PDM members have yet to decide on its location and duration. PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif wants a dharna in Rawalpindi, while PPP suggests Faizabad is a suitable place to organise a sit-in.

So, basically, after three months the PDM is back to square one: discussing the same topics. These issues will be taken up in its meeting today where the future strategy will be decided.

Earlier this year, there were rumours of strife within the PDM. It was being said that the PPP would leave the multi-party alliance over the issue of resignations from the assemblies.

According to Saleem Safi, a senior journalist, the JUI-F and PML-N had also believed that the PPP was in contact with the powers-that-be. However, the opposition parties had told the PPP leadership that if it wanted to gain results via backdoor talks, it could go ahead.

But now it seems that the PPP has failed to bring to the table what it had promised: more seats and Senate top slots. So will PPP be able to convince the PDM parties against resignations or JUI-F and PML-N will have their way? Today’s meeting will decide.

This is the first meeting of the PDM after its nominees Yousaf Raza Gillani and Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri failed to win on the Senate chairman and deputy chairman slots despite the majority in the upper house. The PDM leadership had agreed to launch a probe and identify the senators who had wasted/sold thier votes.

On Saturday, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif, and Maulana Fazlur Rahman held a telephonic conversation to discuss the political situation in the wake of the PDM candidates’ defeat in the election.

During the conversation, JUI-F chief Fazl had said the joint opposition’s decision to organise a long march to Islamabad will not yield results without mass resignations. The top-tier leadership had also discussed the causes behind the defeat in the elections for the top slots and go after the lawmakers who voted for the PTI Senate nominees.


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