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Opposition’s Pakistan Democratic Movement To Strive For ‘Non-Political Establishment’

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The major opposition parties have decided to put up a joint front with the name of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to oust the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government and vie for a ‘non-political establishment’ in the country.

The decision was taken after an hours-long multi-party moot held in Islamabad on Sunday to chalk out a strategy against the ‘selected government’ led by PTI chief and Prime Minister Imran Khan. The opposition lawmakers also demanded the ‘immediate resignation’ of Imran Khan and transparent polls in the country.

Dawn reported that a 26-point resolution passed by the multiparty conference announced the formation of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — an “alliance structure which will lead and guide nationwide protests against the anti-public and anti-nation government in a disciplined and integrated manner”.

The resolution read by JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the incumbent regime was brought into power by the establishment and also owed its ‘fake stability’ to the powers-that-be. The resolution expressed ‘extreme concern’ over the increasing interference of the establishment in internal affairs of the country and regarded it as a ‘danger to the nation’s stability and institutions’.

The current regime has turned parliament into a ‘rubber stamp’, said the resolution, announcing that the opposition parties won’t cooperate with the government on legislation anymore.

The forum also called for electoral reforms so that elections could be held in a free and fair way to strengthen the democratic setup.

The opposition also demanded a new accountability law in the country in compliance with the Supreme Court verdict and suggestions made by the human rights watchdogs and the Council of Islamic Ideology. It also demanded accountability for all so that everyone could be held accountable, including bureaucrats, lawmakers, judicial and army officials.

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The resolution specifically mentioned the recent corruption allegations against Lt Gen (r) Asim Saleem Bajwa and said his assets and family business should be probed in the light of a news report that accused him of accumulating massive wealth. The forum said that Bajwa should be removed as the chairman of the CPEC Authority until the investigation is completed.

The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in a bid to oust the government also decided phase-wise protests against the ruling PTI. They also demanded the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

PDM announced that the opposition parties would launch a three-phased anti-government movement from next month, with countrywide public meetings, protest demonstrations and rallies in December, and a ‘decisive’ long march towards Islamabad in January 2021.

The opposition said it would enlist lawyers, traders, farmers, students, media as well as members of the civil society in its movement against the government. The resolution said the opposition parties will use every ‘legal and constitutional option in and out of parliament, which include moving no-confidence motions and collective resignations from assemblies at an appropriate time’, the resolution stated.

APC address:

In his address, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said that dishonouring the vote leads to failure of the democratic system which is rendered meaningless. “Public’s mandate is stolen and they are betrayed when it is decided before the polls that he would win or lose,” he said.

Nawaz Sharif, in his address, also reminded the attendees of the APC of former PM Yousaf Raza Gilani’s old statement that there was a ‘state within a state’ in Pakistan. Nawaz said that it was sad that the situation has now turned into a point where a state is above the state. He added that this ‘parallel government illness’ is the root cause of all of Pakistan’s problems.

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