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Monday, 28 October 2013

PTI may abandon bid to replace leader of opposition

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)'s bid to install a new leader of the opposition in the National Assembly may not be pursued further after its core committee expressed reservations about the possibility of joining hands with Muttahida Qaumi Movement to dislodge the incumbent Leader of the Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah.


Its numerical strength on the opposition benches in the National Assembly makes it impossible for the PTI to realise its idea of removal of PPPP's Shah, whom it has accused of being hand in glove with the PML-N government. The PPPP has 44 MNAs, followed by PTI's 35 while the MQM has a tally of 24


MNAs while eight legislators are still having an independent status.


Imran Khan caused a stir in political circles when in a news briefing on Friday he declared that the PTI would push for the removal of Khursheed Shah. But it appears the commotion has subsided after the core committee's meeting.


The key decision-making forum of the party also gave a go-ahead to launching countrywide agitation against price spiral and unprecedented inflation.


The core committee also took a major decision that the assets and tax details of all MNAs, MPAs and members of the core committee belonging to PTI, would be shortly put on the party's website to promote transparency.


Sources privy to the committee's meeting here, chaired by Chairman Imran Khan, told The News that the majority of participants were opposed to PTI's alignment with MQM at any cost.


"It is expected that Imran will regularly attend the assembly sessions in future to expose, what they called- the dummy opposition leader. He will demonstrate that he is a genuine opposition leader," sources maintained.


PTI sources claimed that instead of talking to media conferences, Imran would concentrate on raising the burning issues such as skyrocketing prices of commodities and petroleum products as well as massive hike in power tariff and security issues.


They dispelled the impression that the committee had proposed the name of Imran Khan as leader of the opposition in place of Shah, whose leader Asif Zardari immediately after leaving the Presidency had declared in Lahore that his party would ensure that the PML-N government completes its five-year term.


PTI sources hastened to add that nothing was final in politics but presently, there was fierce opposition to having a working relationship with MQM in the National Assembly and to remove Shah with its support in the numerical game.


The proposal of floating name of Awami Muslim League leader MNA Sheikh Rashid Ahmad for the slot of leader of the opposition was opposed.


Imran asked party leaders to desist from issuing statement regarding the appointment of brother of leader of opposition in Punjab Assembly as head of the Land Acquisition Department of the LDA.


Sources said that he also called for issuing notices to those who issued statements in this connection. Further PTI Punjab President Ijaz Chaudhry was asked to look into the appointment of brother of Mehmoodur Rashid as LAD head.

Mumtaz Alvi
Sunday, October 27, 2013
From Print Edition

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