LAHORE: The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has decided to launch a decisive campaign against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, which will culminate in a long march against inflation from Lahore to Islamabad.
The opposition alliance leaders vowed continuing protest until Imran Khan is sent packing.
The decisions were made in PDM virtual meeting with its chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman in the chair. Leaders of all political parties of the PDM attended the meeting. The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) was represented by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The meeting took stock of the overall political and socioeconomic situation of the country, skyrocketing inflation, NAB Ordinance, government recommended election reforms and various other issues facing the country. Former prime minister and PMLN supremo Nawaz Sharif also participated in virtual meeting through video link.
The meeting rejected the unprecedented increase in prices of sugar, flour, medicines, electricity, gas, petrol and other essential commodities, and demanded an immediate reversal of the prices, along with provision of true relief to people.
The participants in the meeting agreed that Imran Khan and the corruption of his government was the biggest reason behind the current deplorable state of economy. They also demanded that the conditions agreed upon with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) must be made public. The meeting termed the 2018 elections the biggest fraud with the Pakistani nation and called it the worst conspiracy to steal the public vote. It was decided in the meeting that a conclusive mass public campaign would be launched, starting with a mass public meeting on Nov 13 in Karachi, which would be followed by another in Quetta, in Peshawar on 20th and it would end with a decisive mass public meeting in Lahore and then the long march from Lahore to Islamabad in December. They agreed that the movement would end only after sending Imran Khan home.
They said that Imran Khan had “butchered” people of Pakistan with its disastrous decision and incompetence and the nation could not allow him to continue in his office anymore.
They also rejected the NAB Amendment Ordinance, the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and Internet voting being based on mala fide intentions. They pledged to foil all conspiracies of the PTI to steal the upcoming elections and deprive people of their constitutional right to elect a government of their choice. All conspiracies by the PTI government would be challenged inside and outside the Parliament, for which a thorough strategy had been devised.
The meeting gave the responsibility to PMLN President and National Assembly Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif to form a strategy, who would make an action plan in consultation with all PDM parties.
It was also discussed in the party that Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) would be consulted again for making a joint strategy against the government, and the option of bringing it into the opposition alliance again.
The meeting demanded strict action against those found guilty in Daska bye-election rigging and said that the report proved that the votes were stolen, and the staff was abducted.
Separately, Shehbaz Sharif said in a tweet on Saturday that if Imran Khan Niazi was unable to control prices of flour, sugar, power, gas, petrol, he could provide relief to masses by tendering his resignation as the prime minister.
Meanwhile, he contacted Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Ameer Sirajul Haq and the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) Chairman Mahmood Khan Achakzai to discuss strategy against the government.
Shehbaz made the contacts ahead of the joint session of the Parliament to hold consultations over the strategy of the parliament’s joint session and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Amendment Ordinance.
The opposition leaders also agreed on raising a strong voice against inflation inside and outside the parliament. They also exchanged views on challenging the NAB Amendment Ordinance at all forums.
Meanwhile, The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Saturday cautiously welcomed the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) announcement about a long march against inflation in the country.
However, it said the PDM should tell the nation whether they would resign from the assemblies before the long march in December or after it, as there was no mention of resignations by the PMLN and Maulana Fazlur Rehman in the long march process.
“Though we welcome the announcement of long march against the PTI government and the worst inflation, yet still awaiting the announcement of resignations from the Assembly,” said PPP Information Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi on Saturday.
He said Maulana Fazlur Rehman had said that without resigning from assemblies, long march would be meaningless.
Faisal Kundi said the only way to oust the incompetent prime minister was bringing a no-confidence motion.
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