PDM Leaders Meet To Strategize Ouster Of Government
Leaders from the opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) met at the home of JUI-F chief and PDM supreme leader Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman in Islamabad to discuss their anti-government strategy. PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari were in attendance.
This moot came one day after the PDM’s announcement of resignations from Parliament to be handed in by the 31st of December. Maulana Fazlur Rehman told the media after the meeting that all members of the National and Provincial Assemblies would hand in their resignations to party leaders within the stipulated deadline by the end of December.
The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is likely to become the largest party in Senate elections in March 2021, due to its majorities in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces. However, Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman pledged to prevent this from taking place terming the current provincial assembly majority of the PTI as “fake”. He further said: “Breaking the Senate electoral college is part of our democratic and constitutional struggle.”
Government figures, for their part, are attempting to create an image of indifference to the PDM’s hostile moves. Prime Minister Imran Khan has stated that the government intends to hold by-elections on any seats vacated by opposition legislators. The PM reiterated his stance that the opposition’s intransigence comes from a desire to get relief from his government’s accountability drive: “I am willing to speak with them on everything except giving them an NRO.”
In addition, government ministers continue to suggest that the PDM are non-serious about resignations, demanding that the opposition members hand in resignations to the Speaker of the National Assembly rather than their respective party leaders.
The PDM leadership, for its part, has stated that it is proceeding with resignations as indicated earlier. To drum up momentum for its anti-government campaign, the PDM is looking towards its upcoming rally in Lahore on the 13th of December. This is to be followed by a Long March towards Islamabad as the culmination of its effort to oust the government.