Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)- the major opposition party, is likely to stage a token sit-in in front of the Parliament House on Thursday, which it has already announced for a stronger and more independent Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
PML-N source told Business Recorder that though a date for holding one-day sit-in has not yet been finalised; however, consultation continued with other opposition parties to stage the show on Thursday. They said that the final announcement would be made as soon as the consultations were concluded.
Unlike Dr Tahirul Qadri’s four-day long sit-in in the federal capital, the sources said that the rally would be a one-day event and the participants would also march towards the ECP secretariat to present a memorandum to Chief Election Commissioner reminding him of a constitutional violation by not nominating opposition leaders in Balochistan and Sindh assemblies.
“Of course this will be a one-day event just like the party staged sit-in in front of the presidency in the past,” said a senior PML-N leader, adding that PML-N strongly believes in continuation of democratic process. He emphasised that the rally was being organised for strengthening the ECP as well as getting the Supreme Court’s verdict implemented to carry out delimitation of constituencies and completing the ongoing process of voters’ verification under the supervision of army.
A high-level meeting, chaired by PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif in Raiwind on Saturday decided to stage a sit-in in front of the parliament house, in continuation of a joint sit-in staged in Karachi by all opposition parties for a stronger and more independent ECP and carrying out the voters verification process under Army’s supervision as directed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
The sources said that invitations had been forwarded to all opposition parties including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to participate in the protest. However, Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Jamait Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F), Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) and some Sindhi nationalist parties have accepted and assured the PML-N leadership to participate in the sit-in.
The PTI chairman Imran Khan had to back off after some senior party leaders particularly Makhdoom Javed Hashmi opposed joining hand with PML-N for the sit-in. The PML-N’s scheduled sit-in in front of the Parliament House is a continuation of a joint sit-in staged in Karachi by all opposition parties. According to the party’s sources, all the opposition parties’ leaders, who had staged three-day sit-in in Karachi, will reach Islamabad to become part of the protest rally in front of the parliament house. They said that PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, leader of the opposition in National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan will be among those leaders of the opposition parties who will address the participants of the sit-in.