ISLAMABAD: A conference of opposition parties is currently under way in Murree to evolve a consensus on a joint candidate for the office of the country’s president.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif is chairing the All Parties Conference (APC) — the alliance of opposition parties which includes Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, Awami National Party, Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), National Party, Qaumi Watan Party and Pak Sarzameen Party.
PkMAP leader Mehmood Khan Achakzai is not attending the meeting owing to prior commitments, however, he has said he will support APC’s decisions.
According to sources, PML-N will propose fielding a joint opposition candidate instead of Aitzaz Ahsan, who has been nominated by the PPP to contest the presidential election to be held on September 4.
Consultations will also be held over fielding a joint opposition candidate for Senate chairman and opposition leader, sources added.
Further, sources said the Pakistan Alliance will consider holding protests outside Parliament over alleged rigging in the July 25 polls.
PML-N will also seek support of the allied opposition parties for its “Justice for Nawaz Sharif” movement, sources said.
A plan of action for PPP and PML-N to work together will also be considered, sources continued.
PML-N and PPP have been in disagreement over the nomination of Ahsan for the post of country’s president. Earlier, PML-N stated that Ahsan could not be considered a joint opposition candidate.
Further, PML-N leader Pervaiz Rashid on Friday said the party will consider supporting Ahsan for the post of president if he apologises to incarcerated former premier Nawaz Sharif.
However, responding to Rashid’s comments, Ahsan in a media talk said that the PML-N’s demand is “non-serious and non-political”.
The PTI has approved the nomination of Dr Arif Alvi as the party’s candidate for the post of president.
The Election Commission of Pakistan has announced the schedule for the presidential election which will be held on September 4.