ISLAMABAD - Although Pakistan People’s Party wants to bring all the opposition parties on a same page but it is not in a mood to dole out the slot of Leader of Opposition in the process.
Sources in the party said that the party may drop out its candidate for the slot of Speaker or Deputy Speaker in support of some other party or group in the opposition but doling out of the slot of Leader of Opposition to any party was out of question.
Although the parliamentary party leader of PPPP Syed Khurshid Shah in a media chat on Saturday said that they were striving to form a united opposition in the Lower House by bringing MQM, PTI and JUI-F closer but in the process they would not offer the slot of Leader of Opposition to any other party.
Some other parties and groups were also trying to narrow down the differences between the opposition parties but so far no breakthrough was in sight as the differences between PTI, MQM and JUI-F were quite critical and deep-rooted and bringing these parties on a same page is no less than a miracle, the sources aware of the developments taking place on this front commented.
The sources in PPPP further informed that Syed Khurshid has contacted the heads of various opposition parties in the Parliament but so far he was not given positive signal from any quarter.
These sources said that Moulana Fazl was still hopeful of a striking power-sharing deal with PML-N.
The sources in PTI were of the view that right now their alliance with all the three parties is out of question. However, the party would cooperate with the other opposition parties on issue-to-issue basis, the sources added.
These sources confirmed the contact of PPPP leadership with them on the issue of forming united opposition in the Lower House. When asked about the efforts of Awami Muslim League chief Sh. Rashid Ahmad to evolve consensus on the candidature of Imran Khan as Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly, these sources said that he was doing all this on his own as there was no party policy in this connection.
Meanwhile, MQM leaders in the newly installed National Assembly were of the view that they would sit in opposition both in centre and Sindh Assembly and would play constructive role and would define their future course keeping in view the conduct of the ruling alliance.
A senior party leader on condition of anonymity said that so far there was no policy guideline from the Rabita Committee on forging alliance with other opposition parties and when time would come they would decide about it.
He, however, said that they would deal with other opposition parties on issue-to-issue basis and would play their role for strengthening of the democratic order in the country and welfare of the poor and downtrodden.
PPPP was on top of the list in the opposition parties with 40 seats in the National Assembly followed by PTI with 35 seats, MQM 23, PkMP and JI with four seats each and some half a dozen parties including Awami Muslim League, All Paksitan Muslim League, PML-Q, Qoumi Watan Party with one seat each to their credit. Besides these parties some seven independents were also going to sit on opposition benches, as they had preferred not to join any party or group.
In the given situation PPPP seemed in better position to clinch the slot of Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly and could even enter into some sort of adjustment with MQM or with JUI-F in case it would fail to strike some power-sharing deal with ruling PML-N, as both the parties in given situation could hardly sit with PTI for the hard line its party chairman had taken against the leadership of both these parties.