ISLAMABAD - Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), facing plethora of issues in and outside the country, has started convincing some parliamentary opposition parties to join hands for a countrywide protest plan against the recently adopted Pakistan Protection Ordinance (PPO) in the National Assembly.

“Muttahida lawmakers have started contacting with opposition parties including PTI and Jamaat-e-Islami(JI) to support their plan for countrywide protest against PPO,” MQM senior members shared this with The Nation here on Saturday.

Following the strong instructions from the London office, the sources said, the fourth largest opposition party in NA (MQM) has initially contacted with senior members of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) to put pressure on the incumbent government for its ‘aim’ to enforce PPO.

MQM despite having political rivalry on different issues has planned to contact with PTI in near future to convince it to support them on the issue. MQM if fails to convince both the opposition parties, the sources said, it might not change its strategy to observe strong protest in major cities of the country.

The sources said the idea behind involving these opposition parties is to observe strong protest with strong majority in other parts of the country.

“Muttahida has enough strength in the biggest city of the country but it needs support mainly of PTI for these protests,” they added. It would not be out of place to mention here that NA had recently approved a 120-day extension in Protection of Pakistan Ordinance (PPO) with a majority vote amidst a strong protest by the opposition parties, particularly PTI, MQM, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).

The MQM member, in their protest in NA, had accused the government of resorting to “the culture of ordinances” rather than carrying out legislation for anti-terror measures.

Fierce opposition, in the 8th session of the NA, was also put up by the MQM whose legislators were more vocal in their opposition to these ordinances and their extension.

Jamaat-e-Islami’s parliamentary leader Sahibzada Tariqullah had condemned the ordinances and called them a “direct attack” on the prerogative of parliament to legislate.

PTI’s Javed Hashmi had commented that the extension in the ordinances would deprive the Upper House of parliament of its right of legislation. These opposition parties also called it a violation of the fundamental rights of the people.

The human rights advocates reportedly said the PPO 2013 not only violates human rights conventions but also it might suppress political and civil rights movements in Pakistan.

The ordinance, which allows law enforcement officials to use force against, and arrest without warrant, any person who they consider is likely to commit a scheduled offence, was approved by President Mamnoon Hussain on October 20. It was presented in the National Assembly on November 7.

The preventive detention clause of the PPO 2013, which states that the interior secretary can authorise detention for not more than 90 days, is also in violation of the human rights declaration and the rights convention, both of which have been ratified by Pakistan.