The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) announced on Tuesday that it will hold its first public rally on October 11 in Quetta to rid the country of the current “unconstitutional system”.
“On October 11, PDM will hold [its] first public rally and then the movement will spread all over Pakistan and rid Pakistan of this unconstitutional system,” former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi announced on behalf of the movement in a press conference.
The former prime minister also announced that PDM’s steering committee was approved in today’s meeting of the opposition parties. He said that the organisational structure that was developed today will now be sent to party leaders for approval. He also said that other details pertaining to the organisation will be shared with the people soon.
Former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, while briefing the media on the steering committee, said that the chairmanship of the body will be assigned on a rotational basis.
“The convenorship for the first month is with PML-N and [the convener] will be Ahsan Iqbal,” Ashraf said.
Abbasi, in his address to the media, said that today’s meeting condemned the “shrinking space for democracy”. He added that the meeting also condemned the “flood of inflation, rising unemployment and historic corruption” going on in the country.
The PML-N leader also said that the issues “frustrating” the people were also deliberated in the meeting.
“You will see that this movement will bring about a real political transformation in the country,” said Abbasi.
PDM condemns arrest of Shahbaz Sharif
PPP leader Ashraf said that today’s meeting especially condemned the arrest of Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif.
“Due to this [arrest], democratic institutions will weaken and the anger within the Pakistani people will rise,” warned Ashraf. He also added that there was “no reason” to arrest the opposition leader if a reference was filed against him.
The former prime minister said that the other leaders of the opposition also felt that the government ministers, by coming on TV and making “predictions” of arrests, had compromised NAB’s independence.
“The common man begins to see it that way when someone says that there is a government and NAB nexus [and then such actions are taken],” said Ashraf.
Talking about the planned anti-government rallies, Ashraf said that after the October 11 power show, “there will be a series of rallies that in all provinces”. He added that these rallies will take place as the PDM believes that the Pakistani people are under a lot of pressure.
“The opposition cannot remain quiet. We are part of a democratic system and we want to move forward democratically,” said Ashraf, adding that it is their resolve to stand with the people of Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl’s Maulana Ghafoor Haideri vowed that the opposition’s movement will continue till they remove the “selected government”.