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Opposition leaders gather in multiparty conference

ISLAMABAD, June 26 (WNP): Leaders of PPP, PML-N and other opposition parties have gathered here at a local hotel in the federal capital for a much-anticipated multiparty conference (MPC) aimed at discussing possibilities of launching an anti-government protest campaign from a single platform.

The PPP and the PML-N have constituted special teams to attend the MPC being hosted by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) with a view to ensuring the presence of their MNAs in the National Assembly during the voting process on the budget.

The Balochistan National Party (Mengal), which had been attending opposition meetings despite sitting on the treasury benches, decided against attending the MPC on Wednesday.

In a written message sent to Maulana Fazlur Rehman, BNP-M chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal asked the opposition to consider his party’s recommendations. The Jamaat-i-Islami, which is sitting on the opposition benches, had already distanced itself from the MPC.

Prior to the MPC, the parliamentary parties of the opposition held a separate meeting inside the National Assembly to formulate their strategy for the budget session.

Earlier, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz met her uncle, Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif, at the Ministers Enclave to discuss matters related to the opposition moot.

Speaking to reporters in the parliament, Shahbaz said the opposition would make every effort to make the MPC called by Maulana Fazl a success.

The decision to hold the MPC had been made by the leaders of 11 opposition parties during a well-attended Iftar dinner hosted by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in Islamabad last month. The dinner was also attended by Maryam and Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz.

In the meeting, Maulana Fazl had called for launching a full-fledged anti-government movement soon after Eidul Fitr, saying that they “are already too late”. But his proposal was not warmly received by the PPP and the PML-N.

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