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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), the multi-party alliance of the opposition parties, on Tuesday announced to hold its first public gathering on October 11 in Quetta against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

The PDM made this announcement after its steering committee meeting convened by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal.

The PML-N's Maryam Nawaz and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari did not attend the meeting.

"It was decided that on October 11, the PDM will hold its first public gathering and then the movement will spread all over the country and rid Pakistan of this unconstitutional system and incompetent PTI government," former prime minister and PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said, while addressing a news conference.

The PPP leader and former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, JUI-F leader Abdul Ghafoor Haidri, Awami National Party (ANP) leader Mian Iftikhar Hussain, and others, were also present on this occasion.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that the steering committee of the PDM had developed organisational structure for the movement, and now it would be sent to parties' leaderships for approval.

He said that the meeting of the PDM leaders condemned the shrinking space for democracy. "The issues of unemployment, inflation, corruption and others, which are frustrating the people, were also discussed in the meeting," he said.

He said that the meeting also condemned the "flood of inflation, rising unemployment and historic corruption" going on in the country.

Abbasi said that all parties agreed on this decision, and you will see that this movement will bring about a real political transformation in the country.

He said that the movement's future strategy would be decided in the second meeting of the steering committee next Monday.

Abbasi said that the steering committee's convenership would be changed on a rotational basis, with the PML-N's Ahsan Iqbal to serve as its convener for the first month.

About the arrest of the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Raja Pervez Ashraf said that "such tactics will weaken democracy, and the anger and grievances of Pakistanis will rise."

He said that the lives of the people were in miserable condition due to price hike, unemployment and worst economic situation of the country.

He claimed that Pakistan was facing danger due to foreign policy of the PTI government. The PPP leader said that more public gatherings and rallies would also be organised in other cities to mobilise public to join their movement.

He claimed that the government had failed to improve the economy, and brought it to the brink of destruction.

He expressed concern over arrest of Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, saying the move was aimed to sabotage the movement against the government.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) leader Maulana Ghafoor Haidri said the PTI-led government had lost its credibility in the public, and claimed that it had failed to provide five million low-cost houses and 10 millions new jobs to the people as promised prior to 2018 general elections.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020