The opposition alliance, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), has rejected the government pleas and decided to hold its planned long march against rising inflation on the Pakistan Day on March 23, but “drop­ped” the idea of moving a no-trust motion against the government.

PDM chief Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, speaking to the media after concluding the all-parties session of the opposition in Islamabad, lashed out at the government over its reported plan to seal the capital due to the military parade and presence of some foreign dignitaries, declaring in categorical terms that the protesters would enter Islamabad, come what may.

“The PDM will enter Islamabad [on the scheduled day] and the government knew such a big march was due on that day, so under which conspiracy did they make such recommendations?”

Fazal said that all members of the PDM have decided that an anti-inflation march against the government would be held as per schedule on March 23.

He said: “People will turn to Islamabad from all corners of the country and this anti-inflation march will be the last nail in the coffin for this government.”

The JUI chief reiterated that the people of Pakistan have been overburdened because of inflation, and PDM rejected the government’s “mini-budget.” 

He went on to say that since the government is non-serious itself, it is “also treating the country’s economy in a non-serious manner.”

He added that during the session, all opposition parties have been directed to continue with the preparations for the long march.

Fazal reiterated that the opposition would “never allow the government to trade the freedom and sovereignty of the country.”

“The PTI leaders have made a mockery of the country’s economy,” he asserted, lamenting that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has been enslaved by international financial institutions.

Regarding a no-confidence motion against the government in the parliament, Fazal considered “the time inappropriate for such a move.”

Referring to the Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2021, in which Pakistan’s rank has fallen 16 steps to 140 from 124 out of 180 countries, the PDM chief said that the current government labelled all other politicians as thieves; however, “the international institution has shown them their own reflection in the mirror.”

“Transparency International has exposed the true face of the incumbent government,” he said, adding that the PTI-led government is the most “incompetent, failed and corrupt” government in the history of Pakistan.

Fazal also rejected the presidential form of government, stressing that the opposition has fought for the survival of the country and will continue to do so.

“Presidential system is another name of dictatorship,” the JUI-F chief said, adding that the end of parliamentary rule “seems to be a conspiracy”.

“We will never allow this nefarious conspiracy to succeed as the country had previously suffered because of the presidential system.

He said that the presidential style of government has a “dark history” in Pakistan.

The Maulana alleged that the government was once again making plans to rig next general elections to come back into power.

Referring to the report released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) scrutiny committee, he said: “PTI had hidden details of 22 accounts, and Prime Minister Imran Khan should be disqualified.”

Terming the electronic voting machines (EVM) “unconstitutional”, Fazal said that the PDM has already rejected it, adding that the EVM is another name for Results Transmission System (RTS).

“We will not accept such elections,” he added.

Before beginning the session, Maulana Fazal had said that the PTI-led government has “lost its moral standing,” adding that the allies are also hesitant to cooperate due to PTI’s “anti-people policies.”

The JUI-F chief said that the opposition should hold serious talks with all allies of the government and convince them of their stance against it.

“If all allied parties support the opposition in the House, the motion of no confidence would not be required,” he said.

The meeting was attended by PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif, opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif and the party’s Vice President Maryam Nawaz through video link.


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