Tuesday Dec 22 2020
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PDM ready for second phase of anti-government agitation, schedule issued

(L-R) PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, JUP leader Owais Noorani and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari waving to supporters, at Lahore's Minar-e-Pakistan on December 13, 2020. Photo: PPI
  • PDM finalises its schedule for the second wave of protests
  • The focus will be on smaller cities this time
  • Party steering committee meets in Mardan today 

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) is ready for the second phase of its anti-government campaign.

On Monday, the party's steering committee finalised a schedule for it.

The second phase starts with a public meeting in Mardan today (Tuesday), PDM spokesperson Mian Iftikhar Hussain said.

The 11-party alliance will then hold a rally in Larkana on December 27 on the eve of the death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto.

This time PDM will have public meetings in smaller cities too. The schedule is:

  • Bahawalpur on December 30
  • Malakand on January 3
  • Bannu on January 6, 
  • Khuzdar on January 9, 
  • Loralai on January 13
  • Tharparkar on January 16
  • Faisalabad on January 18
  • Sargodha on January 23
  • Sialkot on January 27

A meeting of PDM heads will give final approval to the proposed protest programme, Iftikhar said. 

The agenda for PDM's next meeting

The PDM is still in a quandary whether to leave the field of Senate elections open for the ruling PTI. It is a big question mark before the alliance as the PPP does not want to leave the field open for the ruling PTI and its allies to get maximum seats in the Upper House of Parliament in the upcoming Senate elections.

Read more about PDM's jalsas so far

The Opposition leaders are expected to discuss the Senate elections in their next meeting scheduled some time between December 27 and early January. Sindh's by-elections will also come under discussion.

The Election Commission of Pakistan has announced the schedule for by-elections in Sindh and Balochistan according to which polling will be held on February 16, 2021 and February 19, 2021 in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The PPP is supporting the PDM's resignation formula, but wants to make a more focused strategy on it.

Sources from within the PPP confirmed to The News that the party's leaders will discuss the way forward in its upcoming Central Executive Committee, which is expected to be held this week. 

What are PPP and PML-N's plans for the Senate elections?

There is a chance for the PPP to be the second largest party in the Senate elections after the PTI and it is being said that the PPP may be able to get the slot of the opposition leader.

Seven PPP senators are retiring in March next year from Sindh and PPP aims to get the same number of seats back to take its strength to 19 senators.

Read more about the Senate elections and its process

Currently, the PPP has 21 senators in the Upper House of Parliament and is still the second largest party after the PML-N. 

The PML-N is expected to be at a loss as 17 of its senators are retiring and it has a chance to get only five to six seats from Punjab to make up for it.