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ISLAMABAD: Putting the option of resignations from the assemblies and no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan on hold, the all-parties conference (APC) of 14-opposition political parties Sunday announced creation of "Pakistan Democratic Movement" (PDM) for pursuing an anti-government drive and asked the Prime Minister quit forthwith.

The 26-point resolution and the 'action plan', passed by the APC and read out by JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman at a joint press conference along with PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and others, the joint opposition demanded an immediate resignation of "selected" Prime Minister Imran "Ahmed Niazi" and also announced a countrywide anti-government movement.

It stated that lawyers, traders, farmers, labourers, students, media, civil society and general public will participate in the movement. The APC announced that in the first phase of October 2020, joint public meetings and rallies will be organized in Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and Punjab.

In the second phase, it stated that a massive public demonstrations and protests will be held across the country in December 2020. "It would be followed by a "decisive long-march" in January 2020 towards Islamabad," the APC announced.

The joint opposition stated that it will use all democratic, political and constitutional options in and outside the parliament, which include a no-confidence motion and mass resignations from the parliament. For the purpose to use any option at appropriate time, it added that a special committee is being constituted to formulate a course of action in this regard.

In the resolution, the opposition parties stated that the current "selected" government has been granted "the fake stability by the same establishment" that imposed it on the people in result of the "rigging". "The meeting expresses "serious concern" over the increasing interference of the establishment in political affairs and declares it as a threat to the country's stability and national institutions", the resolution stated, adding that all the institutions that comes under the establishment should refrain from interfering in the politics as per their oath taken as per the Constitution.

The APC demanded that holding of free, fair and transparent elections in the country must be ensured and for this purpose electoral reforms should be brought to ensure that there is "no any role of the armed forces and the intelligence agencies in the election process".

"The selected government has ruined the common man's life with record-high inflation, unemployment, and taxes, this meeting demand that the prices of flour, sugar, ghee, electricity and gas be immediately brought down," it added.

It added that due to the "selected" government's failed policies, the crumbling economy is posing a serious threat to the country's atomic power and sovereignty. "The 1973 Constitution, the 18th Amendment and the current National Finance Commission (NFC) award are a reflection of the nation's united viewpoint and we will fight to guard these from any attack and will protect our provincial autonomy. No compromise will be made on this," the APC resolved.

It further stated that the APC rejects the "nefarious intentions" of introducing a presidential system in the country, adding that the meeting believes that the federal parliamentary democratic system of government is guarantor of Pakistan's integrity and it will make no compromise on it.

"The selected government is responsible for the "fall" of Kashmir. The India's move to annex Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir was made possible in connivance with the incumbent "puppet" rulers," it alleged.

The JUI-F chief further said that the APC expressed grave concerns over the "complete failure" of the government's policy regarding Afghanistan.

He said that the meeting condemned the "unprecedented" gags on the media and censorship and demanded that all the arrested journalists and media owners should be released immediately.

He said that the meeting also condemned the "fake" cases based on "political revenge" against political leaders, leaders, and activists.

He said that the APC noted that due to the non-implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) there has been a surge of terrorism, adding that the meeting also expressed grave concerns over the dismal law and order situation, saying that the government has "failed miserably" to ensure the basic rights of citizens. The APC also termed the recent rise in sectarian tension in Islamabad and other parts of the country as 'dangerous' and also expressed grave concerns over the 'silence' of the government over the situations.

The JUI-F chief said that the "inexperienced government" has put China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) into danger, adding that the ACP demanded that CPEC projects be expedited and the motorway and railways on the western routes be developed on an emergency basis.

"The selected government has paralyzed the parliament and the voice of the opposition was being suppressed. The opposition will not longer cooperate with the "rubber-stamp" Parliament," he declared.

He said the APC also called for free, fair and transparent elections in Gilgit-Baltistan on time and without intervention of the agencies, adding that after the elections, through national consensus, steps should be taken to include GB within Pakistan's political parameters.

He said that the meeting noted that tribal districts have been made "no-go" areas, and the APC demanded an end to it. He said that a committee has been constituted to re-draft the Charter of Democracy which would guide the country to become Quaid's Pakistan.

He said that it was also demanded a "Truth Commission" will also be formed which will bring forth Pakistan's true history since 1947.

Responding to questions during the press conference, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the PDM wants a non-political establishment as the Constitution does not allow the establishment to be involved in political matters of the country.

He also ruled out any dialogue with the establishment, saying that the Constitution does not allow it. He said that all the options listed in PDM's action plan and joint resolution including protests and demand for resignation are constitutional and legal demands.

He said that the PDM will start working from Monday and will continue to work towards its goal of seeing "real democracy" in Pakistan. He said that all the options including en bloc resignations and bringing a no confidence motion in the parliament are on the table and will be used at "appropriate" time.

Bilawal also ruled out installing another "selected" Prime Minister in place of the incumbent "selected" premier.

To another query about the rumours that some members of the opposition voted in favour of the government to ensure the passage of FATF-related bills last week by not showing to the session, Bilawal said that votes fell short because some lawmakers could not attend the session due to different reasons.

He assured that the opposition parties were on the same page and had demanded a vote recount. He said that the passage of laws during the joint session of the Parliament was made possible through "rigging".

Shehbaz Sharif, in his remarks said that the incumbent government's survival is a "threat to Pakistan's existence". He said that it has been agreed with the JUI-F chief that all the future actions will taken jointly by avoiding a solo flight.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020