LAHORE        -      Arrangements are being finalised for a multi-party conference to be hosted by JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman in the federal capital tomorrow (Tuesday) to decide on the next course of action against the PTI government.

A total of nine parties are expected to participate. It is said the JUI-F chief will brief the attendees on the outcome of ‘Plan A’ and ‘Plan B’ of the ‘Azadi’ protest. Some reports say he will also take them into confidence over “secret talks held to bring an end to the sit-in”.

JUI secretary general Abdul Ghafoor Haideri had disclosed recently that Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi had assured the JUI-F (during the sit-in) that the premier would resign and the assemblies will be dissolved. “We had ended our sit-in after getting certain assurances by some trustworthy persons and Parvez Elahi had become a guarantor,” he had claimed.

However, Parvez Elahi refuted all such claims, saying: “No such assurances — resignation of the prime minister or dissolution of the assemblies — had been given to the JUI-F chief.

Parvez Elahi was a member of the government’s negotiating team and his PML-Q is a coalition partner with the PTI.

The government’s failures on all fronts and the opposition parties’ strategy to mount more pressure on it to quit will be the major subjects of discussions in Tuesday sessions. But the participants will be doing a great national service if they discuss whether the country can afford more protests and their own role in solving the major problems facing the country.

Opposition parties have consistently been alleging that the government has failed to improve the state of economy, give millions of jobs it had committed, set up millions of housing units for the shelter-less, control unbridled inflation and honour other commitments it had made before the July 2018 elections.

Let’s assume all these allegations are well founded. This necessitates that the opposition parties should review their protest plans and focus their energies on enabling the government to solve these problems. If the protests are continued, the situation will further aggravate, adding to the common man’s problems. Such a course will make the country ungovernable.

Superfluous to recall that the allegations being made against the PTI government are similar to the ones opposition parties have been making against all past governments. Since the PPP and the PML-N have been alternating each other in power for many years they have been holding each other responsible for all kinds of failures that they are jointly pinning on the PTI government now.

There is a dire need for a change of this mindset. The opposition parties should play their role in navigating the country out of the quagmire it has been caught in. Pushing the country to a new crisis will not be in anybody’s interest. They should let the present government complete its mandated five-year term so that the future government also stays in power for full term. This is necessary for political stability.

All political parties should bear in mind that the Kashmir issue has gone into the background because of the situation in the country. India is perpetrating atrocities in occupied Kashmir and Pakistan has not been able to raise the matter at the world forums. Mere statements issued by various leaders against India bring no relief to the Kashmiris.

The APC participants should come up with an idea as to what the government should do to help the Kashmiris in these testing times. They should bear in mind that if Pakistan – government as well as opposition parties – failed to get post Aug 5 situation reversed, a day may come when India will try to create trouble in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

If India succeeded in beating Kashmiris silent, no future government will be able to revive the Kashmir issue.



A constructive role the APC participants may play