The joint opposition held their All Parties Conference in Islamabad today (Sunday). It was hosted by the PPP.
The Jamaat-e-Islami had refused to attend. Amir Sirajul Haq said on Saturday that his party will not join this fight between “princes and princesses”.
Former president Asif Ali Zardari addressed the APC first via video link.
The PM has the thoughts of a major, he said. We tried for two years to save democracy but I don’t think they want it to be saved, he said. He asked the APC participants to devise a way to strengthen democracy and take it forward.
“Democracy comes first, then prosperity.”
We are not just here to kick out this government, he said.”We want to remove this government and bring back democracy. We want to save Pakistan.”
Senator Sherry Rehman of the PPP announced during a media talk on Sunday morning that part of the APC would be livestreamed. Obviously, we can’t livestream the entire thing because sensitive matters will be discussed, she said.
PPP Co-chairperson and former president Zardari attended via video link from Karachi while PML-N founder and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif addressed via video link from London.
Despite being away from the country, I know what our people are going through, said Nawaz.
“Pakistan is going through a lot of problems, and the cause is just one: Pakistan has been kept away from democracy. The country should be run by those elected by the people.”
He discussed courts acquitting dictators and giving them legal cover for three years. The only one to be convicted hasn’t even been caught, he said.
He also said their fight is against those who brought Prime Minister Imran Khan into power.
Maryam Nawaz and her husband Captain (retd) Safdar reached Islamabad from Murree. A 13-member PML-N delegation attended the APC, led by Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif. Ahead of the APC, the PML-N held an internal party meeting in Islamabad.
According to Rehman, the difference between this APC and previous ones was that a plan of action would be devised today. “But the government mustn’t worry [Government ko ghabrana nahi hai],” she said.
Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Dr Abdul Maalik, Mohsin Dawar, Aftab Sherpao, Jamaldini, Awais Shah Noorani and Fazlur Rehman were also in attendence.