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Clear line drawn between PDM, PPP: Maryam Nawaz

PML-N Vice President and senior Opposition leader Maryam Nawaz made her anger and frustration with erstwhile coalition partner PPP known in no unclear terms on Saturday, lashing out publicly at the latter for “sacrificing everything” for a “minor, inconsequential office”.

Maryam was referring to the PPP, one of the main components of the 11-party opposition alliance, which fielded its own candidate, Yousaf Raza Gilani, for the office of opposition leader in the Senate in a move that Maryam’s party claims was in violation of what had been agreed upon in a meeting of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

“It is sad that you have massively dented the struggle for democracy, the struggle for the rule of the people for a petty office. But I believe it’ll be much more damaging for you,” PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said while speaking briefly to the media outside the Lahore High Court on Saturday. She was in the court to submit a surety bond of Rs1 million for bail in the Jatti Umra land allotment case.

“I don’t think this is the defeat of PDM, including the PML-N. In my assessment it is the defeat of those who compromised on their principles for a petty office,” she said, again referring to the PPP. “Leader of the opposition holds no value. It is the pettiest gain [compared to the PDM struggle]. If you were so desperate, then you should have asked Nawaz Sharif and he would not have refused.”

She recalled that all PML-N lawmakers had voted for Gilani first during the Senate elections and then during the election for the chairman Senate slot.

“It’s sad that you accepted votes from BAP which follows the commands of its baap (godfather),” Maryam said while playing on words. “BAP MPs will sit on opposition benches if baap says so, and join the treasury benches if baap wills so.”

She claimed that PML-N nominee for the slot of opposition leader Azam Nazeer Tarar had received a phone call from Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani who offered him four or five BAP votes. Tarar, however, turned down the offer saying that he would not betray his party and the PDM.

The PML-N is feeling disillusioned and betrayed because it believes the PPP, whose support was crucial for the PDM’s anti-government struggle, has ditched the opposition alliance by cutting a clandestine deal with the security establishment.


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