Pakistan-Opposition alliance PDM announced to launch protest movement from Quetta

 PDM will hold a public rally in Quetta on October 11


The opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has decided to hold its first public rally in Quetta on October 11. This decision was made in the PDM’s Steering Committee meeting in Islamabad today. The Steering Committee will be consisting of two representatives from each party. PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal elected its first convener.

The PDM has chosen Quetta to kick start its anti-government protest movement because both JUI-F of Maulana Fazal Ur Rehman and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) led by Mehmood Khan Achakzai has strong base in Baluchistan province. They expected to organise an impressive show in Quetta to launch the protest movement.

Addressing a press conference after PDM's first formal meeting in Islamabad, PML-N leader and former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the anti-government movement will be launched across the country after the "historic" rally in Quetta.

"This movement will keep growing and will be successful in ridding Pakistan of this undemocratic process," said Abbasi, accompanied by other opposition leaders including Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Ahsan Iqbal, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Mian Iftikhar Hussain and Senator Usman.  

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Sha The meeting strongly condemned the "shrinking" space for democracy in the country and discussed rising inflation, unemployment, "historic corruption", the state of the economy and people's issues.

The former PM Shahid Khan Abbasi said the steering committee, which will comprise two members from each party, held its first meeting today as well and an "organisational structure" will be sent to the opposition parties' leaders following which the movement will be presented before the people.

The PDM huddle comes a day after PML-N president and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in assets beyond means and money laundering case.

Referring to the arrest, former premier and PPP leader Raja Pervez Ashraf said the meeting resolved that "such tactics will weaken democracy and the anger and grievances of Pakistanis will rise."

Questioning the need to arrest Shehbaz after a reference against him had been filed; Pervez said the "government-NAB nexus" became apparent after government ministers predicted on television the arrests of various opposition leaders.

PDM already announced to organise public gatherings in all the big cities. The PDM was formed at the MPC, where opposition parties had announced launching of a three-phased anti-government movement under an “action plan” starting from next month with countrywide public meetings, protest demonstrations and rallies in December and a “decisive long march” towards Islamabad in January 2021.

                                                       Rukhsana Manzoor Deputy Editor


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