Friday Jan 01, 2021
LAHORE: The leaders of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) on Friday addressed a press conference and said that member parties of the alliance will take part in the by-polls, but a decision related to the Senate elections will be taken later.
Prior to the press briefing, the PDM held a meeting at Jati Umra in Lahore to make final decisions regarding the future course of action of its anti-government campaign.
Speaking to journalists, PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that the alliance is "is stronger than before, adding that rumours about conflicts within the party are false."
The PDM chief vowed that the alliance is ready, more than ever, to rid the people of Pakistan from the incumbent government, and reiterated that the government only has one month to resign, after which PDM members will join heads and start planning the long march.
"We will decide whether to hold long march towards Rawalpindi or Islamabad," he said, adding that the alliance will announce the date and venue soon.
Fazl said that PDM would announce the long march's date later. However, before that, it would hold demonstrations outside the Election Commission of Pakistan on January 19.
Fazl also revealed that the 11-party alliance would arrange protests outside the National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) offices.
Speaking further about the anti-graft watchdog, Fazl said that it was created to "solely" target the Opposition.
"We cannot overlook Khawaja Asif's arrest," he asserted.
Talking about his meeting with PML-F leader Mohammad Ali Durrani, Fazl said that the latter had come unannounced.
"Ali Durrani presented the philosophy of national dialogue," Fazl said, adding: "I told him that negotiations were out of the question."
Answering a question, the PDM chief said that many of the decisions taken during the meeting prior to the conference are confidential, therefore, the alliance is not under any obligations to share everything with media.
Adding to the topic of resignations, PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz Sharif said that her party members have already submitted their resignations to her.
She added that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) will not contest the Senate elections without a consensus on the matter.
"Negotiations [within the PDM] are currently going on with regard to the Senate elections. When the time is near, we will make a decision," she said, adding that the 11-party Opposition alliance will contest the Senate elections only if a consensus to do so is reached between all members.
Speaking to Geo News in response to PDM's statements, Federal Information Minister Shibli Faraz said that the "expression on PDM members' faces showed that they did not make any significant decisions during their meeting."
Shibli Faraz added that the main stakeholder in the assemblies is the PPP, which has still not issued any statements about their resignations.
The minister also said that the "Opposition's narrative has been buried," adding that Fazlur Rehman's threats about staging protests outside of the NAB's office are unconstitutional.
"This is just [their] way to threaten state institutions," Shibli Faraz said and questioned PDM's intentions to attack the country's accountability institution.