ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), while announcing recommencement of anti-government movement with “full force” after the holy month of Ramazan, Monday, reiterated its appeal to the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Awami National Party (ANP) to review their decisions and rejoin the alliance by accepting their “mistakes”.
The steering committee of the PDM met here at the residence of Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the PDM president and chief of his own faction of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) to deliberate over its anti-government strategy.
However, the PPP and the ANP were not invited to the steering committee meeting, whose members have already tendered resignations.
Talking to media persons along with the other PDM leaders after the meeting, Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that it was agreed that a meeting of the party heads of the PDM alliance would be convened soon to chalk out a comprehensive strategy with regard to the anti-government movement after the holy month of Ramazan.
Referring to the PPP and the ANP, he reiterated his earlier stance with regard to decisions taken by the two parties, saying that the PDM believes that both the parties should review their decisions and re-joined the alliance by accepting their “mistakes”.
“Some of our colleagues who have decided wrongly to part their ways with the PDM…we still standby our appeal and we want them to reconsider their decisions. If they have committed any mistake, they should accept that and then accepting the view of the majority is the true spirit of democracy and prerequisites of the democratic values need to be fulfilled,” he added.
In response to a question whether he was in contact with the PPP directly or indirectly, Maulana neither confirmed nor denied the reported contacts between him and the PPP leadership.
“I think you have some information with regard to the development,” he told the journalist who referred to the recent reports of contacts between him and the PPP leadership.
The PDM chief further stated that the meeting also discussed the worst economic situation of the country and decided that in the forthcoming meeting deliberations would be made on making proposals for the betterment of the economy by consulting economic experts.
Besides, he also referred to the situation of trade on Pakistan-Iran border, saying that the “institutions” are committing injustices with the small traders associated with the cross-border trade.
“The small traders on the Pakistan-Afghan border are being victimised and they are even being fired bullets…The State also has some responsibility as their businesses have become tough and they also need to earn two-time bread for their children,” he maintained.
Responding to a question, he maintained that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is being given autonomy and no country’s institution would be able to make it accountable.
“The entire country’s economy is going to be mortgaged …it is tantamount to selling out Pakistan,” he maintained.
About the coronavirus situation, he lashed out at the government policy, saying that the government has so far did not purchase a single dose of vaccine, adding that the vaccines coming from China are not enough for the 220 million pollution of the country and only the elite and ruling class could be vaccinated while the poor masses would be kept deprived.
“In such situations, we are sticking to our position that this government must go back home and we will be on the ground with the full force for a free, fair and transparent election in the country which has become essential,” he said, adding that the PDM would resume its political activities after Ramazan.
Asked to comment on the PML-N vice president, Maryam Nawaz’s statement that “they don’t want to topple the government”, he said that he has not seen any such statement.
Sources privy to the development told Business Recorder that the steering committee meeting which was also attended by PML-N senior leader Ishaq Dar via a video link from London, deliberated upon the anti-government movement after Ramazan.
They said that it was also decided to give another chance to the PPP and the ANP to explain their position within the PDM about the situation in wake of nomination of Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani as opposition leader in the Senate.
The sources further said that deliberations were also held with regard to recent contacts among former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman, and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif who have decided not to invite the PPP and the ANP to the PDM said these leaders have developed a consensus that the PPP and ANP would not be invited unless they explain their positions.
They said both Nawaz Sharif and Fazlur Rehman are of the view that if the PPP and the ANP gave appropriate replies to the clarification sought by the PDM, they could again become its part.
Though Shehbaz Sharif holds a somewhat different position regarding the PPP and the ANP, the sources added Shehbaz may not take any position contrary to the views of his elder brother.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021