“The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” is an ancient proverb that the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari seems to be following. What else can explain the sudden change of heart of the PPP leader towards the JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. In a move that is creating a buzz in the political circle of the country, Bilawal visited JUI-F chief’s residence on Friday to discuss the recent political situation in the country. This was their first meeting since the PPP quit the opposition alliance PDM, which is also headed by Fazl, in April this year, leaving a dent to the movement’s goal to oust the ruling PTI. The two parties since then have hurled criticism at one another, with the maulana accusing the PPP of trying to ‘stab the opposition movement in its back’. But perhaps that’s all in the past.
Bilawal has taken the first step to mend this relationship that he said has been alive since the past three generations of the Bhutto dynasty, during a press conference following the meet up. After all, a joint opposition is the need of the hour towards the common enemy – Prime Minister Imran Khan and his governance. Now both the parties have decided to ‘defeat’ the incumbent government in the parliament and ‘foil’ its efforts to pass the controversial bill on electronic reforms, which included using electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the next general elections, and the National Accountability Bill (NAB) Ordinance. But the question is, how far is this reunion going to go?
When asked if the PPP will be rejoining the PDM, the party’s Information Secretary Faisal Kareem Kundi clearly stated that “the PPP will stand by other opposition parties against the government, only within the assemblies.” With the way the PDM is struggling to find a footing in the political system after its weakened narrative, it is only wise that the PPP stays away. Having said that, Bilawal’s gesture to bury the old hatchet and come together in the parliament is much appreciated. The reconciliation can bear fruit as only a vibrant opposition will strengthen the democratic system of the country. Moreover, the amendment in the NAB Ordinance and the use of EVMs are important issues that the ruling party needs to reconsider. A united opposition is the need of the hour.