ISLAMABAD - The deep-rooted acrimony between Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) would be coming in the way of opposition parties’ alliance to transform into a formidable force and to stay united for a longer period of time, people, who are aware of the differences which cropped up between them in the very beginning, informed on Sunday.
Although both the parties had shown graciousness in the initial couple of sessions when PML-N chief Shehbaz Sharif had offered the leader of opposition’s slot to PPP which has less seats as compared to PML-N but PPP reciprocated with same spirit and insisted that the party with more seats has right to give some name for the slot of leader of opposition in the National Assembly.
But as the strange bed fellows - PPP and PML-N - have a long history of acrimony and animosity. In the 90s both the parties had been part of the conspiracies to derail each other’s governments, so their stay on the same page for a longer period would not be possible, a senior parliamentarian commented.
A participant of the Multi-Party Conference (MCP) informed that the body language of the participants from both these parties was not congenial towards each other and a sort of uneasiness was conspicuously noticed in their apparent affable interaction.
Sources aware of the developments taking place on this front informed The Nation that both PPP and PML-N were viewing the situation with different lens as the former wanted to let the system work and wait for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf to commit mistakes and fall with its own follies while the latter wanted to create hurdles in the way of PTI.
It was with this approach of not letting PTI function when Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) chief Moulana Fazlur Rehman tossed the idea that parliamentarians of opposition parties should not take oath of their offices and exert pressure on PTI to go for fresh elections.
Although the PML-N leadership had not bought this idea but supported MMA to the level of forcing PTI to go for fresh elections in the face of what they termed blatantly rigged elections. On the other side, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that they should not stay out of the legislatures as, according to him, they could more effectively lodge their protest against the rigged elections by staying part of the system.
It was PPP’s persuasion that rest of the opposition parties agreed to take oath and become part of the federal and provincial legislatures.
Now another contentious issue which could create cracks between PPP and PML-N is the PML-N leadership efforts to form government in Punjab for which it wants the wholehearted support of PPP. While on the other hand PPP is in no mood to enter into a tug of war between the PML-N and PTI for Punjab government and would prefer to stay neutral or would restrict to just offering its votes to PML-N.
Sources in PPP informed that the party leadership did not want to become part of any move which could endanger the system or derailment of political process because their stakes in the system are high and they wanted smooth sailing with no disturbance at centre and provinces.
Right now PPP has come up with clear majority in Sindh Assembly and would be in a position to single-handedly form the government while in the National Assembly they have improved their position as compared to the previous set-up while in Senate they would be holding key slots of both Deputy Chairman Senate and Leader of Opposition, so the smooth sailing of the upcoming political dispensation would be in their interest.
While on the other hand, PML-N has emerged as the main loser in the system and definitely they want to cripple the apparently fragile government of PTI.
So with these divergent priorities it would be hard for both PPP and PML-N to go along for a longer period and so would be the fate of this newly formed alliance.