ISLAMABAD   -  Major opposition parties yesterday threatened to send the government packing after a meeting at the Zardari House here.

The joint opposition, led by the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, decided to summon an All Paties Conference (after Eidul Fitr, early next month.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had invited opposition leaders, including PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz Sharif, to an Iftar dinner.

The opposition parties’ meeting also included delegations from Awami National Party and Jamaat-e-Islami. PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz also attended the meeting before the iftar-dinner.

Speaking at the news conference after the meeting, Bilawal said that a single party cannot resolve issues of the country.

He said that all political parties had announced launching protest movement against the government after Eidul Fitr, adding that protest would be lodged inside and outside the parliament.

The PPP leader said that the opposition parties would devise a joint strategy regarding the protest movement in the all parties’ conference.

“The government has crossed all limits. The opposition will stand for people’s rights,” said Bilawal, who has played the key role in bring the opposition together.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazal) chief Maulana Fazalur Rehman in his remarks said: “I would like to thank Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari for inviting all opposition parties on the iftar dinner and providing an opportunity for everyone to sit together and devise a joint strategy over the issues.”

He said that the date for the APC would be announced after Eidul Fitr.

PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Maulana Fazalur Rehman will summon a meeting of all the parties to devise a joint strategy against the government.

The opposition rejected the recent proposed hike in the prices of oil and gas. The opposition leaders also expressed their concerns over NAB actions.

Aftab Sherpao, Liaquat Baloch, Pashtun Tahaffuz Novement leaders and Shah Awais Noorani also attended the opposition gathering.

Akhtar Mengal and Mehmood Khan Achakzai had excused from attending the meeting due to prior personal commitments.

 Govt reaction

The opposition’s get-together has upset the government, which is already reeling under the unrelenting economic crisis.

Special Assistant to PM on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan was heard speaking the same language as former minister Fawad Chaudhry while criticising the opposition parties. “The meeting is nothing but abu bachao (save father),”she said.

Chaudhry, who is the science minister now, often used the same term, ‘abu bachao‘, to refer to the activities of Bilawal Bhutto, who is the chairperson of the PPP.

Firdous said that those who used to chant slogans against one another are sitting together to evade accountability.

“(Prime Minister) Imran Khan said it before that this is not in the country’s benefit,” she remarked. The opposition parties just want to safeguard their own interests, she added.