Monday Oct 26, 2020
LAHORE: Federal ministers Ali Haider Zaidi and Fawad Chaudhry on Monday lambasted the Opposition's Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), with the maritime affairs minister linking the rallies to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On Sunday, the leaders of the 11-party PDM lashed out at the prime minister, holding him responsible for the current crises plaguing the country, from its economic woes to the Kashmir issue.
In a scathing retort to the PDM, Zaidi criticised the "circus characters", condemning the "shameful attack on Pakistan's integrity".
"The PDM circus has shown its true intentions during their rally in Quetta," the minister said. "Their goal is to save what they looted and blackmail the state.
"The circus members are spokespersons for those who use Modi's language to attack the Pakistan Army, as well as the separatists and seditionists. None of the circus members have spoken on Modi's barbarism in Kashmir.
"I'm sure the circus members do not want to upset their 'master'," Zaidi added, referring to Modi and his BJP-led government. "These circus members want chaos and anarchy in the country.
"They know that Prime Minister [Imran Khan] will neither compromise nor give them NRO," he added.
The federal minister claimed that the Opposition parties' PDM was aimed at providing an edge to the Indian premier.
"The second major benefit of this 'circus' will go to Modi [as] the GDP of Modi's India has fallen to negative 10%. The border situation is beyond Modi's control as well.
"PM Imran Khan's position on Pakistan and China has shot back into prominence," Zaidi added.
Chaudhry, the science and technology minister, spoke of how the PDM's movement was weakening and faltering in its course, saying there was "no momentum" left in its jalsas.
"The Opposition's movement is failing even before it started. Is this the movement that will send Imran Khan home? It will be the Opposition that goes home.
"By January, the bedrock of the Opposition's movement will vanish," he vowed. "After the return of [former prime minister] Nawaz Sharif, the movement will completely lose its traction [among the masses]."
The federal minister noted how the rally "failed in Quetta yesterday" and claimed that there were "failed shows in Karachi and Gujranwala".
Even the Opposition's workers were not accepting their statement, he observed. "Ordinary people are not attending the Opposition's rallies at all [and that] is creating frustration within their ranks," he added.
Chaudhry opined that as despondency spread, the PPP — under its chairperson, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari — was distancing itself from Maulana Fazlur Rehman and the PML-N. "The differences among the Opposition are coming to the fore," he stated.
He also spoke of the former ruling party, saying the situation of the PML-N had also been laid bare as "28 people participated in the parliamentary party [and] condemned Nawaz Sharif's statement".
He added that Fazl, Maryam Nawaz, and PPP chairperson Bilawal were "being exposed in front of the people" and that "as the movement weakens, the rift in the Opposition ranks will widen".
Zaidi, the maritime affairs minister, joined in, noting how it had been a week since "Safdar & Co. disrespected the Mazar-e-Quaid" yet there was "no sign of remorse on the face of anyone in the whole group, including Nani Aman [grandmother]".
"Their behaviour is not only shameful, it is even worse. Nawaz & Co. is inciting a coup," he warned.