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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Thursday failed to evolve consensus on moving a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan as well as en masse resignations and deferred a decision on the proposals for after the Senate elections, which it decided to contest jointly.

An important meeting chaired by the alliance’s president, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, was held to deliberate upon the proposals floated by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) with regard to in-house change both in the National Assembly as well as in Punjab provincial assembly through moving no-confidence motions against Prime Minister Khan, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser, and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, besides deciding to hold “long march” towards Islamabad on March 26th.

On the option of no-confidence motions, sources said that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari gave arguments.

However, further discussion on the option was deferred.

Briefing media persons after the meeting, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who is also chief of his own faction of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-Fazl), said that the PDM decided to jointly contest the Senate elections, adding that a joint strategy would be chalked out where the opposition parties would support each other’s candidate and they would not contest the polls against each other’s candidate.

With regard to the no-confidence motion and the en masse resignations from the assemblies, Maulana said that it was decided that further discussions on the option would be held after the Senate elections.

“As we have decided to participate in the Senate elections and also to support each other’s candidate, we also decided to meet again after the polls to discuss the options [on no-confidence motions and en masse resignations],” he stated in response to a question.

He said that rallies from across the country would march towards Islamabad on March 26th, adding that the ultimate objective of the PDM was to “oust” an “illegitimate” government and transfer the mandate back to people.

He said that PDM also rejected the proposed 26th constitutional amendment to hold the Senate polls through open ballot, saying the opposition believes in comprehensive election reforms, and declared that the PTI has no trust in its members to vote in favour of the “infamous” and “unpopular” candidates and for the reasons wants the Senate polls be held through an open ballot.

The Maulana further said the PDM also rejected the appointment of former Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh as head of the Broadsheet Inquiry Commission and declared that it was an effort to give itself a clean chit in the corruption allegations.

About inflation and price hike, he said the PDM noted that the prices of electricity, gas and petroleum have skyrocketed and “rising” inflation has already made the lives of the people difficult.

“We will continue to stand by the people shoulder-to-shoulder against these illegitimate rulers and are ready to render any sacrifice required to bring the people out of the difficult situation,” he added.

He said the PDM also expressed serious concerns over the development funds being distributed to the members, saying; “it seems as if Imran Khan has forgotten how he would consider this as bribery in the past. Now the Supreme Court judges have taken a suo moto notice, the distribution of the development funds should be stopped.”

He said that the government employees will be protesting in Islamabad on February 10th, adding that the PDM will fully support the government employees in their protest and all those people who demonstrate against the government will find the PDM’s support.

The Maulana further said that in the foreign funding case against the PTI, 23 accounts were brought to attention by the State Bank of Pakistan, “but 18 are being hidden.”

“The PM’s statement of an open hearing of the case was nothing but a drama…This is why he [Imran Khan] can no longer be termed Sadiq (honest) and Ameen (trustworthy) and his government must be declared illegal, and justice demands a prompt decision in this regard, otherwise, it is the murder of justice,” he maintained.

He said that in parliament, the opposition will continue to protest against the “attitude” of the speaker National Assembly, adding that there will be no cooperation with the government towards parliamentary proceedings.

He said PDM would hold a rally in Muzaffarabad today (Friday) to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people on the occasion of Kashmir Day, accusing the PTI government of “selling out” Kashmir.

He said that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and PPP chairman Asif Ali Zardari attended the meeting via video links.

PPP’s delegation included Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Yousuf Raza Gilani, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Sherry Rehman, Qamar Zaman Kaira, and Farhatullah Babar.

From the PML-N, the party's vice president, Maryam Nawaz, Ahsan Iqbal, Marriyum Aurangzeb, and Rana Sanaullah attended the meeting.

Ameer Haider Hoti, Mehmood Khan Ackahzai, Aftab Sherpao, Akram Durrani, Owais Shah Noorani, Professor Sajid Mir, and Dr Abdul Malik also represented their respective parties in the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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