Bilawal tears apart PDM’s show-cause notice: sources

An overview of PPP’s Central Executive Committee meeting in Karachi on April 11, 2021. — Twitter/ MediaCellPPP

With all eyes on PPP’s Central Executive Committee meeting in Karachi today, reports have emerged of the party chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, tearing apart the show-cause notice served to PPP by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). 

Sources told Geo News that during the CEC meeting at Bilawal House, Karachi, Bilawal read out the show-cause notice served to PPP by PDM’s secretary-general Shahid Khaqan Abbasi — and after that, he tore it into pieces.

Following Bilawal’s move, the party leaders present during the meeting lauded his action and started clapping, sources said.

Addressing the CEC meeting, Bilawal said he had come into politics for respect, and nothing was greater than respect.

The meeting, which has 50 PPP leaders in attendance, is discussing the current political situation and the relations between the Opposition parties and the overall anti-government strategy of the party. Former president Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal are presiding over the meeting.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader in the Senate Yousuf Raza Gillani offered the party his resignation as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, sources said. “We have given our lives and rendered many sacrifices for the cause of democracy,” the sources quoted him as saying.

“Allegations which are unfounded cannot be levelled against PPP,” Gillani was said by sources to have added.

His proposal was unanimously rejected by the CEC, as well as PPP President Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.

Ahsan Iqbal responds

Responding to the development, PML-N secretary-general Ahsan Iqbal said PPP had taken a “vicious” step by tearing apart the notice served to it by PDM.

It wasn’t a show-cause notice. They were just asked to respond to their move of getting Gillani the slot of Leader of Opposition in the Senate via support from a government-ally — BAP, he said, while speaking in Geo News programme “Naya Pakistan”.

“So if they have shredded and thrown away the notice from PDM, it is akin to them breaking their partnership with PDM. It is an extremely vicious step,” the PML-N leader said.

Iqbal said a final decision would be taken by the PDM leadership in the matter. However, for him, PPP is no more a part of the Opposition alliance.

‘Show-cause issued to insult PPP’

The show-cause notice was sent to insult PPP, Senator Palwasha Khan said, adding there was no need for PPP to respond to PDM’s notice.

Speaking in Geo News programme “Naya Pakistan” shortly after PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal made an appearance, Khan said PPP would not bid farewell to PDM as they were the founders of the platform. “Who has stopped PML-N from resigning from the assemblies?”

“No party in PDM, including PML-N, has the right to issue a show-cause notice,” the PPP leader added.

The PPP had earlier delayed the April 5 CEC meeting that was called to decide on resignations from assemblies citing a Senate session summoned by the president on the date. While all major parties showed their willingness for the move, the PPP had sought time to deliberate on the matter.

It is pertinent to mention here that the ANP has withdrawn from the PDM after the Opposition alliance served it a similar show-cause notice seeking an explanation for the party supporting PPP’s Yousuf Raza Gillani for the Opposition Leader in the Senate’s office.

PPP, on the other hand, was asked in the notice to explain why it did not first obtain the consent of the Opposition alliance before getting Gillani elected to the seat.

Gillani’s declaration as Opposition leader in the Senate has become a major cause of division within the PDM.

The PML-N says one of its own should have assumed the role as was “pre-decided” at the time of the Senate chairman election, while PPP argues it had the numbers to its favour in the Senate, and so, its party candidate had a right to the position.

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