Monday Oct 05 2020
Web Desk

Pakistan Democratic Movement announces new schedule for anti-govt rallies

Web Desk

Pakistan Democratic Movement leaders addressing a press conference, on October 04, 2020. — YouTube/sceengrab

ISLAMABAD: The alliance of opposition parties has decided to hold its first public rally in Gujranwala on October 16, senior PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal announced on Monday after a meeting of the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) steering committee.

The PDM leaders also announced a new schedule for anti-govt rallies across the country after differences emerged among the main political parties on the dates announced earlier.

The PPP had earlier objected to an October 18 rally in Quetta, saying that it commemorated the date for the Karsaz bombing incident in 2007 that had targeted slain party leader Benazir Bhutto. 

Schedule of PDM rallies:

Gujranwala — October 16

Karachi — October 18

Quetta — October 25

Peshawar — November 22

Multan — November 30

Lahore — December 13

Responding to the objection, the PDM decided to join the PPP for its Karachi rally and postpone the Quetta rally to October 25. 

Iqbal also said that the opposition parties will hold "massive gatherings" subsequently in Peshawar and Multan on November 22 and 30, respectively.

“Finally, a massive gathering will be held in Lahore on December 13, after which this fake setup will not be able to stand on its feet and the nation will announce that they want the rule of Constitution and law in the country,” Iqbal said.

Read more: FIR lodged against Nawaz Sharif for 'criminal conspiracy'

Flanked by Shahiq Khaqan Abbasi — who, it was announced, has been appointed the PDM’s Secretary-General — and other senior opposition leaders, Iqbal said the participants of the meeting had also condemned the first information report (FIR) lodged against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and other PML-N leaders.

The PML-N leader alleged that the government has damaged the Kashmir cause by implicating Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider in the FIR.

Earlier today, a case was filed against the PML-N supremo pertaining to criminal conspiracy for the “provocative speeches” he made in London to “defame Pakistan's institutions”.

The FIR alleges that the former prime minister, in his speeches, supported the policies of India, and claimed that Nawaz wanted to give the impression that Pakistan will be listed in the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) grey list in its upcoming meeting.

Taking the mic, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the newly-formed group would aim at providing relief to the people.

"This government is selected and it has destroyed the economy. [The PDM demands] that the country should be run according to the Constitution," he said.

Abbasi claimed that the masses would join the PDM's campaign against the government and that Pakistan would see “a new beginning of democracy".

PDM's Vice President Raja Pervez Ashraf said that the basic aim of the movement was to express the thoughts and emotions of the Pakistani people.

"Today, people in Pakistan are suffering as they are unemployed, and If we don't raise our voice for them it would be a grave injustice," he said.

The former prime minister said people from all walks of life were facing immense difficulties due to the government's policies.

He also announced that the ANP’s Mian Iftikhar Hussain would be the alliance's information secretary.

Meanwhile, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl central general secretary Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri said the government had "not even fulfilled one of its claims."

Haideri said that the incumbent government has gagged the press. "Several media workers are unemployed and industries have been severely affected," he said, adding: "People should stand up against this incompetent government”.