ISLAMABAD: The 11-party opposition alliance, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), chief Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman announced that the proposed long march against the government will begin from Karachi on March 26 with a rally and processions from all over the country will reach Islamabad on March 30.
Addressing a press conference after the PDM meeting on Monday, flanked by People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Muslim League Nawaz PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz, the Maulana condemned the attack on PML-N leadership allegedly by the ruling Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) workers.
Former prime minister and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif also addressed the meeting via video link from London. Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Aftab Sherpao, Yousaf Raza Gilani, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Raja Pervez Ashraf also attended the meeting.
Replying to a question, Maulana Fazal said that further details about the long march would be shared with media on March 15.
About resignations of PDM parties from the assemblies, he said that the option was still under consideration and a decision in this regard would be taken soon.
He said the PDM leadership has the resignations and a decision would be taken in the next meeting on March 15.
Maulana denied that the PDM alliance was seeking any “back door” channel or undemocratic means to come into power.
About the Senate election, the Maulana alleged that the intelligence agencies coerced lawmakers into voting for the PTI candidates.
He warned that if they tried coercive tactics in the election of Senate chairman, the PDM would reveal all the details.
Maulana Fazal criticised the PTI for its decision to challenge the election of Yousaf Raza Gilani and termed it a foolish move.
He also officially announced the nomination of Yousaf Raza Gilani as the joint candidate for the office of Senate chairman, saying that there was a consensus in the PDM components on his name.
BILAWAL BHUTTO: The PPP chairman, while criticising the PTI, said that by challenging the election of Yousaf Raza Gilani, the government has accepted its defeat even before the elections of chairman.
Bilawal alleged that the government was using dirty tactics in the election of the Senate chairman, and expressed the hope that the Elections Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will check the negative tactics.
Bilawal was also critical of the security establishment for its alleged interference in political affairs. “Every institution must operate within its limits,” he added.
He said that there was a consensus among the PDM component parties on all issues, including resignations from assemblies and long march.
MARYAM NAWAZ: The PML-N vice president expressed her apprehension that the agencies would use coercive means or bribe the members for the Senate chairman election.
She said that the PTI and its allies were in minority in the Senate and feared it would lose the office of chairman.
Maryam said the PML-N still has the majority in the Punjab despite massive rigging in 2018 general elections.
She claimed that a number of ruling party members in the Punjab Assembly supported the PDM.