PML-N leader and former foreign minister Khawaja Asif said on Thursday that when the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) anti-government protest will reach its peak, every lawmaker of the party will resign from the National Assembly.
Asif was addressing the PML-N’s Convention of Parliamentarians and Ticket-holders where he criticised the government. “The economy has been destroyed, the peace of the people has been taken away. How much longer will the nation continue to pay such a high price for this?” he said.
The former foreign minister said that when the anti-government protest campaign reaches its peak, all PML-N lawmakers will resign from the National Assembly.
“We will see then on which electoral college does the government hold the Senate elections,” he said.
The development comes after last month’s All Parties Conference held by the opposition parties who despite forming the PDM alliance and agreeing on the need for the incumbent government to go home, could not agree to resign from the assemblies.
According to sources, a heated debate ensued on the matter of resigning from the provincial and national assemblies, with the issue being discussed at length between the leaders of the major parties attending.
However, the decision to quit the assemblies was ultimately abandoned even though PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif at one point in the discussions offered to submit their party’s resignations to each other.
Bilawal had offered that he submit his party’s resignations to Nawaz, who could then present the entire opposition’s resignations to the National Assembly Speaker upon his return to Pakistan.
The PML-N supremo, when presented with the offer, said he was not against the idea but wished to first put the PTI-led government under pressure before opting for the step.
“You give me the PPP’s resignations and I will give you the PML-N’s resignations and you can then hand over all of them to JUI-F’s Maulana Fazlur Rehman,” Nawaz had reportedly said in response.
The PML-N is the largest opposition party in the country, with 84 seats in the 342-member parliament. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), with 55 seats.