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coronavirus
Coronavirus
VERY HIGH
Source: covid.gov.pk
Pakistan Deaths
29,105
824hr
Pakistan Cases
1,374,800
7,19524hr
Sindh
526,899
Punjab
464,431
Balochistan
33,941
Islamabad
118,292
KPK
185,340

ISLAMABAD: The alliance of nine opposition political parties - Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) - Saturday announced a 'decisive' movement against the government's 'anti-people' policies by holding several rallies in the provincial capitals followed by a long-march on Islamabad.

This was decided during a virtual meeting of the PDM, chaired by its president and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, but the date for the long-march on Islamabad was not announced.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Quaid and former premier Nawaz Sharif, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith (MJAH) president Senator Prof Sajid Mir, and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai, and others attended the meeting via video link.

A statement was issued after the meeting, through which it was announced that a decision was made to hold "massive" protest rallies in the provincial capitals - in Karachi on November 13, in Quetta on November 17, in Peshawar on November 20 - that would be addressed by the central leadership of the opposition parties in the PDM.

PDM decides to launch protest drive from 20th

The last protest rally of the anti-inflation drive would be held in Lahore followed by a "conclusive" long march towards Islamabad - the dates for both would be finalised in the PDM's another meeting to be held on November 11.

"Now this movement will culminate only by sending [PM] Imran Khan back to his home...this is the movement for getting rid of Imran Khan," the statement further stated, which was issued to the media by PDM secretary-general Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Abbasi said that the meeting discussed in detail the overall political and economic situation of the country, the worst inflation, the NAB Ordinance, the "so-called" electoral reforms and other internal and external challenges facing the country.

He said that the meeting strongly condemned the worst inflation in the country and rejected the historic increase in prices of electricity, gas, petrol, flour, ghee, sugar, medicines, and other essential commodities.

He said that the PDM demanded that an immediate relief should be given to the people by reversing the hike in prices of electricity, gas, petrol, and other essential commodities.

"The main reason behind the worst inflation is the historic corruption of Imran Khan's government," he said, adding that it was also demanded that the conditions, which the government had agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), should be made public.

Expressing solidarity and sympathy with the people in the wake of the historic inflation, he said that it was agreed to launch a "decisive" movement against the "anti-people" policies of the government.

PDM decides to launch country-wide protests against inflation

"The people are not ready for a moment to tolerate this government anymore which has broken the backs of the people due to the worst inflation and price hike," the statement further reads.

The PDM also rejected the NAB Ordinance, electoral reforms, electronic voting machines (EVMs) and the option of online voting as "malicious" and vowed to foil the "conspiracy" at any cost.

"The meeting considers the government's move on so-called undemocratic electoral reforms as a bigger fraud than the 2018 election fraud, the worst conspiracy to deny the right to vote to the country and the people and a tool to steal the next elections," it further maintained.

"We will fight the conspiracy of stealing public mandate and rigging the elections and thwart it," the meeting vowed, adding that overseas Pakistanis will be given the right to representation in the Parliament in the "true sense".

It further stated that the meeting also deliberated upon a strategy of protest inside and outside the parliament to thwart the government's "conspiracy" and mandated opposition leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif to formulate a joint strategy with all the political parties in the Parliament.

However, there was no mention of any contact with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), as the PDM meeting was also supposed to discuss the rejoining of the PPP in the PDM alliance.

According to the statement, the meeting also discussed the latest report with regard to the by-election in Daska and demanded that immediate legal action should be taken against those found guilty in the report.

"The report proved that a "gang" stole the vote by kidnapping the election staff. Those involved in stealing of the vote and kidnapping should be punished forthwith," the PDM demanded.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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