Saturday October 16, 2021

Toppling govt: PDM to march on Islamabad

Addressing the PDM’s rally at Karachi’s Bagh-e-Jinnah ground, the PDM chief and Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl supremo Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the current government was illegal and lacked public support.

August 30, 2021

KARACHI: Even after the departure of Pakistan People’s Party, the anti-government Pakistan Democratic Alliance (PDM) on Sunday succeeded in organising a power show in the metropolis, where the PDM leaders announced to march towards Islamabad to topple the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

Addressing the PDM’s rally at Karachi’s Bagh-e-Jinnah ground, the PDM chief and Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl supremo Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the current government was illegal and lacked public support. Rehman said the PDM had only one target, which was to rid the country of the current ruling government.

“Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the PDM activities were suspended and some circles started saying that the anti-government alliance had become silent,” Rehman said. “But the Sunday's rally in Karachi shows that the PDM is alive and active and a march will be held towards Islamabad soon.”

He said the ‘fake’ government had failed on every front inside and outside the country and left it globally isolated. “The country’s economy has become stagnant and because of it, it is impossible to formulate an independent foreign policy," Fazl declared.

“Where did Imran Khan push the country? Playing role of a US agent, Imran Khan has isolated Pakistan from its global friends, such as China,” he said. “Even China is not ready to trust the current administration that comprises inexperienced persons.”

Accusing the ruling PTI government of “selling off Kashmir", Rehman said Imran Khan had announced to hold a referendum in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, alleging that such remarks were damaging for the Kashmir cause.

The JUIF leader said the rulers at the time of the merger of Fata had promised to spend billions of rupees in tribal areas but all those pledges now proved to be false. Rejecting the government's electoral reforms, Rehman said the entire world and even the Election Commission of Pakistan had rejected the electronic voting machine (EVM). “Through it, the government wants to rig the elections,” he added. He said the United States should accept its defeat in Afghanistan.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Central President and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan and said he left “no stone unturned in destroying the people of Pakistan.”

Taking a jibe at the PTI-led government, Shehbaz said it had failed to deliver on its promises. He said Imran Khan announced a package of Rs162 billion in 2019 and Rs1.1 trillion in 2020 for the development of Karachi. “But except for a few pennies, he did not fulfill his promise of providing funds to remove Karachi’s deprivations and because of it, the metropolis has been facing civic problems,” he said. “It is a joke to talk about the state of Madina while sitting in a 350-kanal house in Banigala.”

He assured the leaders of Balochistan’s political parties that the PDM in general and PMLN, in particular, were with them in their struggle for the economic, legal and social rights.

Shehbaz said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharf’s government had added 11,000 megawatts of electricity to power reservoirs and established low-cost power projects across the country to end the power shortages in the country.

The PMLN leader said the party's provincial government in Punjab had launched its first metro service in Lahore in 2012. “But I believe that Karachi also needed the Metro Bus service because it acts like a mother which has embraced people from all the provinces, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir.”

He said the PMLN government’s efforts had made Karachi a peaceful city. “The PMLN government took the initiative to restore peace in the metropolis by eradicating terrorism, ending extortion and the menace of body bags.” Shehbaz said the PDM will bring a sea of millions of people under the leadership of Fazlur Rehman towards Islamabad.

Qaumi Watan Party’s Chairman Aftab Sherpao said the PTI did not provide any relief to the people in the face of skyrocketing inflation. “The PTI lacked the ability to govern and changed four finance ministers in three years of its rule.”

Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith (MJAH) President Senator Prof Sajid Mir said the PTI government had completely failed and did not keep its promises to the people. “But a promise has certainly been fulfilled to bring about the change that has really come in the form of inflation,” he said.

Jamiat-e-Ulema Pakistan chief Allama Shah Owais Noorani said the rulers of Karachi in the past three decades gave nothing but bodies in sacks. The next rulers should resolve the problems of Karachi by looking at the ground realities, said Noorani.

JUI-F’s Central Secretary General Allama Abdul Ghafoor Haidri said the atrocities committed by the Centre against Sindh were increasing but the Sindh government had also failed to resolve the problems of residents of the province.

He demanded that the PPP government in Sindh should solve the problems of poor. “If this trend of ignoring the people continues, the Sindh government will not be able to escape public reaction.”

Balochistan National Party’s Central leader Dr Jahanzaib Jamaldini said a successful anti-government rally in Karachi was an indication that the people will never give up their basic rights. “From the day one, we have been fighting for the people's right to rule and the supremacy of the Constitution and Parliament.”

Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party’s Central Leader Abdul Raheem Ziaratwal said because of wrong policies of the rulers, the country had been facing crises. “The PDM was formed to restore the rule of law in the country under the 26-point declaration,” he said. “Anarchy and unrest will not end in the country till constitutional institutions do not operate within their jurisdiction.”

National Party’s Central Leader Senator Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi said dictatorship has been imposed on the country in the guise of democracy. “The PDM aims to restore the rule of law, supremacy of Parliament, and true democracy,” he said.

PMLN leaders Miftah Ismail and Amir Muqam, BNP’s Central leader Sanaullah Baloch, Qaumi Watan Party’s Sardar Nawaz Khan and other leaders also spoke on the occasion.

Along with the local administration and large contingent of police personnel, hundreds of members of Ansarul Islam, the JUIF’s volunteer body, performed security duties inside the rally’s venue. The organisers had also installed walkthrough gates at all entrances of the venue.