Time for dialogue long gone, says Bilawal after Jati Umra visit

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Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz have ruled out the possibility of any dialogue with the PTI-led government to halt their movement aimed to topple it.

“Be it establishment or this ‘dummy government’, the time for dialogue has long gone,” Bilawal remarked while speaking to the media in Lahore outside Maryam’s Jati Umra residence, which he visited to offer his condolences to the Sharif family over the passing of Maryam’s grandmother, Begum Shamim Akhtar.

The remarks come a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan urged the united opposition alliance to postpone their rallies for a couple of months because of increasing coronavirus cases and growing pressure on hospitals, saying that the rallies would make no difference to government but would endanger people’s lives.

The prime minister spoke during a televised address ahead of an anti-government rally of the 11-opposition alliance, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), in Lahore on Sunday. Previously, the PDM held a rally in Multan on November 30.

The PDM launched its anti-government campaign in September and announced a schedule of six public gatherings, with the first being in Gujranwala on October 16. The last such rally is scheduled at Minar-e-Pakistan on December 13.

The PPP chief, in today’s press talk, said the government was scared of 11-party opposition alliance’s upcoming long march on Islamabad following the Lahore rally and that is why it had now adopted reconciliatory approach.

“They must be receiving intelligence reports that people in huge numbers are preparing to participate in the long march from across the country,” he said.

“We will not backtrack from our demand that establishment’s meddling into political affairs must be stopped,” said Bilawal, setting aside the media reports that his party had backtracked from the decision of en masse resignation from assemblies.

“PPP stands by the decision of resignations from assemblies and I am receiving resignations of my lawmakers in large numbers,” he maintained.

However, in the same breath he also added that the PDM alliance would not take any step which could allow any undemocratic force to take advantage to the current situation.

Speaking on the occasion, Maryam said government officials and federal ministers were now trying to approach PDM leaders for a dialogue.

“Sitting ministers are trying to approach us for dialogue but I am not interested in talks… now the one who would say that he won’t give NRO is now asking the one for himself,” she said, referring to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s long-standing stance that come what may he will not provide any relief to the opposition parties in corruption cases.

“We will not rest until the government is sent packing and we are fully determined to hold the December 13 rally,” said Maryam.

She also warned the government that if it continued to “intimidate and illegally detain” her party workers then the government will be overthrown much earlier.

 

PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz speaking to the media in Lahore
Posted by Express Tribune on Friday, December 11, 2020

 
Source: tribune.com.pk