PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Saturday telephoned Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif to discuss appointments to the Election Commission of Pakistan’s vacant posts. According to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the two leaders discussed the ECP appointments and agreed that they will proceed forward together on the matter with consultations, a private TV channel reported. It is worth mentioning here that two members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa retired upon completion of their tenure in July. After the telephonic conversation, the PPP said that the two, besides the appointment of the ECP members, also discussed the overall political situation in the country. Reports said the opposition has decided to put up a united front on the matter of ECP appointments. Sources said deliberations were held between Bilawal and Shahbaz over the three candidates proposed by Prime Minister Imran Khan for Punjab and KP each. For Punjab a discussion was held to consider candidates Ahsan Mehboob, Raja Aamir Khan, and Syed Pervaiz Abbas. For Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, deliberations revolved around candidates retired justice Ikramullah Khan, Faridullah Khan, and Muzammil Khan. Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote a letter to Shahbaz last week over the matter of ECP appointments, in accordance with Articles 213 and 218 of the constitution, so these vacancies may be filled in consultation with the opposition. According to the premier’s letter, two members of the ECP from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa retired on July 26 and so two vacancies in the ECP currently exist. The prime minister has nominated three names each for the two vacant ECP seats in Punjab and KP. For Punjab, the prime minister has nominated Ahsan Mehboob – a retired BS-22 officer from the Police Service, Raja Aamir Khan – an advocate at Supreme Court of Pakistan, and Syed Pervaiz Abbas – a retired BS-22 officer from Pakistan Administrative Service. For Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the PM recommended Justice (r) Ikramullah Khan, Faridullah Khan – a retired BS-22 officer from Pakistan Administrative Service, and Muzammil Khan, an advocate at Supreme Court. During Saturday’s telephonic conversation, Bilawal and Shahbaz also agreed to ‘go to whatever extent it takes’ to oppose the government’s proposed Pakistan Media Development Authority, a private TV channel reported. They added that the opposition will have a joint stance on President Arif Alvi’s speech during a joint session of the parliament that kicks off its fourth year. The contact between the two opposition leaders comes amid a rift in the Pakistan Democratic Movement, an alliance that the PPP quit in April this year, along with another member, the Awami National Party (ANP). While Shahbaz has indicated a desire to see both parties come back into the PDM fold, Maulana Fazlur Rehman has moved from a similar sentiment to recently declare PPP as ‘back-stabbers’. The PPP chairman, in response, said “we trusted many friends but all of them cheated us”. The PDM, which had lost its political steam after the PPP and the ANP parted ways with it earlier this year, have decided to organise another round of countrywide rallies to topple the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. The PDM announced marching towards Islamabad “with a sea of people” to topple the ruling PTI. PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif during his recent visit to Karachi accused Prime Minister Imran Khan of making false promises to the people of Sindh and Karachi. “In 2019, [PM] Imran [Khan] Niazi announced Rs162 billion for Sindh and Karachi and then in 2020 he announced a developmental package worth Rs1,100 billion for the province,” he had said, adding that except for a ‘few pennies’, PM Imran did not fulfill his promise of providing funds to the province. He had credited also his elder brother and former premier Nawaz Sharif for stabilising the country’s economy and restoring law and order in the port city. He had said prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed due to the ‘flawed policies’ of the incumbent government.