Opposition asks PM to step down, wants full NA term

  • Qureshi says opposition leader now has power to call assembly session
  • Shah says opposition supports democratic process, polls be held on time

Following a meeting on Friday, the opposition parties reiterated the demand for Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s resignation while calling for the National Assembly to complete its tenure.

Excluding the Awami National Party (ANP) and the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), all opposition parties were committed to demanding Nawaz Sharif’s resignation, said Khursheed Shah, leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, while talking to reporters after the meeting of parliamentary leaders of the opposition at his chamber.

He also said that the assemblies should continue their tenure, as the opposition wants the democratic process to continue and was only calling for the prime minister to resign. He said the opposition supported the democratic process and elections should be held on time. He said that the assemblies must complete their tenure.

He said that the opposition wanted to resolve all issues amicably as it was in national interest. The opposition did not favour politics of agitation in the country, he said, adding that they had no tension with the Pakistan Muslim League-N as a ruling party had had the right to enjoy powers vested by the people.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the opposition had given Khursheed Shah the authority to call the NA session whenever he deemed fit. He said that all the opposition members had inked their signatures and handed over the document to the opposition leader so he might requisite the session.

“On the basis of the ultrasound conducted by the joint investigation team (JIT), we feel that the patient should resign,” said Sirajul Haq, chief of the Jamaat-i-Islami. “We want accountability for all as no one should be above the law,” he said. Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) Chairman Aftab Sherpao said that his party along with ANP wished to wait for the Supreme Court’s decision before deciding on calling for the PM’s resignation.

He said that they agreed with the opposition on the other demands, including unconditional support for the Supreme Court. Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said that the opposition has shown today that they all want to preserve democracy. Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader Farooq Sattar also reiterated the opposition’s decision to support democracy.

The opposition parties met to formulate a joint strategy in light of the recent developments arising from the report. The meeting was chaired by Khursheed Shah at his chamber in the National Assembly and was attended by leaders of all leading opposition parties and lawmakers from the tribal areas.