ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party yesterday said that Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Chief Imran Khan’s solo flight will only benefit the government.

Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah said Imran Khan should not ditch the joint opposition.

Speaking to journalists here, Shah said the reason behind failure of Imran Khan’s sit-in protest in 2014 was solo flight and he was repeating the same mistake.

Imran Khan earlier announced his party will initiate movement against the government on August 7, adding a demonstration will also be organised outside the office of the National Accountability Bureau on July 25.

Imran Khan said the protest against NAB was being carried out because the institution did not carry out investigation against the government even after three months of the surfacing of the Panama Papers.

Khurshid Shah said only a united opposition can give a tough time to the government. “If the PTI opts for a solo flight it will only benefit the government,” he remarked.

Shah said the opposition parties must move forward after consultations to pressurise the government over the major national issues.

Regarding the Sindh government affairs, he said that credit for peace in Karachi went to the police. He said the PPP did not object to Rangers special powers but it should not give a perception of a state within a state. He added: “Abiding by the law is mandatory for every institution.”

Separately, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Khurshid Shah told journalists after a meeting here that a parliamentary committee will meet on July 25 to approve the names of new members of Election Commission of Pakistan. The two leaders said efforts would be made to strike consensus.

The minister said the procedure of appointment of members of the ECP will be followed in accordance of rules. He said the consensus of the Prime Minister and the opposition leader was mandatory to fill such vacancies.

Dar said all the names received from government and opposition parties from the four provinces were sent to the Speaker National Assembly office and would be referred to the parliamentary committee for final approval.

He said that efforts were being made to follow the constitutional limit of 45-day to notify the names on July 25 following the due procedure and law.

He said that several joint meetings of government and opposition were held to resolve the matter in a positive way and expressed the hope that names will be finalized with consensus.

Dar said virtually the committee starts its work when it receives names of members from opposition and governments of four provinces. He added names included retired judges and bureaucrats of grade 22 or above.

Khurshid Shah said realising its national responsibility, the opposition had tried its level best to present the name of those who were non-controversial.

He added names of only those persons had been included who were transparent and without having any political background. He said that the opposition had finalized all names after detailed discussion with all opposition parties.

Shah said they had sustained heavy pressure in finalization of names from opposition to ensure that names were non-controversial.

He said that opposition had finalised three names from each province and the process was completed with satisfaction of all nine opposition parties including PTI and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. 

Khurshid Shah said technocrats and bureaucrats can now be a part of the ECP. “The opposition has recommended three names from every province to be appointed as ECP officials,” he said.