During the September 20 preparatory meeting of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an 11-party opposition coalition created to overthrow the Imran Khan administration, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said in a clear instance of backtracking from his previous position that no one was prevented from “taking names.”
Although the conference of all parties did not vote to name anyone, it also did not discourage anyone from taking names, “he said while speaking on Wednesday to a private TV station.”
The comment comes days after the PPP leader clearly distanced himself and his party from the position of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif against the security establishment, stating that he was “shocked” when he heard the former premier mention at the opposition rally in Gujranwala the names of the army chief and ISI DG.
It came as a shock to me [Sharif’s statements during his speech] because we normally don’t talk this way at rallies,’ the Bhutto dynasty scion said in an interview with a British media outlet released on Friday, highlighting splits within the opposition alliance.
Bilawal further claimed that the selection of the military leadership was not settled on the agenda of the PDM during a meeting of all parties held before the Gujranwala rally and he was waiting for Sharif to present facts to support his statements.
When drafting its platform, neither Sharif nor his party had told the other parties in the PDM that they were going to list the names of the military leadership, he maintained.
“Mentioning the names [of the military leadership] was the personal judgement of Sharif and his party,” he said.
In today ‘s interview, Bilawal toned down possible differences within the opposition coalition on the issue, saying that both opposition parties had decided on a common narrative that was also made public in the form of a joint resolution released by the forum.
Each party will, however, have its own narratives and action plans, he said, adding that this was part of politics and the right to speech.
All PDM groups unanimously condemn the intervention of institutions in politics. “It should fix this dilemma,” he said.
The PPP chairman said that, despite having different political agendas, the PPP, PML-N, JUI-F and other parties within the PDM were all on the same page in terms of democracy and the constitutional position of institutions.