ISLAMABAD - The former ruling party, PPPP, that was defeated in the May 11 elections decided on Saturday to contact and cultivate various opposition parties in the National Assembly to form a united opposition in the Lower House.

"We want to create a strong and effective opposition in the National Assembly," said PPPP's nominated leader Syed Khurshid Shah after his talks with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, adding he would also try his level best to take along Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leadership.

Likewise, he said efforts would be made to convince other opposition parties and groups including the MQM and ANP, Mehmood Khan Achakzai and Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed and Ejazul Haq to make a united opposition front in the parliament.

He said that differences between the political parties were a great challenge but PPPP following its policy of reconciliation take these leaders into confidence including PTI leadership form a meaningful opposition.

Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has also predicted that soon the opposition would convert into a grand force, while Mehmood Khan Achakazi said that his party would sit on independent benches. "We will neither sit on opposition benches nor will we be part of the government," he remarked.

Online adds: Khurshid Shah said they will not tolerate at all if the PML-N government takes revenge on the pretext of accountability. “If the PML-N government holds us accountable, we will support it wholeheartedly, but if it takes revenge from us in the guise of accountability, we will not tolerate it at all,” he said while talking to a private TV channel and journalists outside the Parliament.

He went on to say that during the previous term PPP was a ruling party and PML-N was on opposition benches. “Now PPP will play the role of opposition and PML-N will be a ruling party,” he said. “We will support good deeds of the government and discourage wrongdoings on its part. Full opportunity will be provided to the government to work and no hindrances will be created on its way,” he added.

He held Nawaz Sharif had said amid charged slogans that PPP government had miserably failed to stop drone attacks, but now drone attacks were posing a bigger challenge to Nawaz Sharif than the energy crisis. “We should go for dialogue with the US to stop drone strikes,” he opined.

“The PPP government always pursued the policy of reconciliation and we will continue the policy of reconciliation while sitting on opposition benches. We will try our best to take along the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leadership by taking them into confidence,” he remarked.

Hitting hard at the former opposition leader in the National Assembly, he said “I ask Chaudhry Nisar not to make tall claims. Tomorrow we will be in your place and you will be in our place. But the only difference is that Chaudhry Nisar could not become prime minister and I will sit on the opposition benches.”