Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly (NA) Shehbaz Sharif, Wednesday, said owing to skyrocketing inflation the opposition’s march against inflation to Islamabad on March 23rd has become inevitable.
While speaking to the media after meeting the PDM chief, who also heads Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F), and Shehbaz said the heads of the PDM parties would hold a summit on January 25 to discuss matters related to the march against inflation on March 23 as well as sending the government packing through vote of no confidence in the National Assembly.
They said the overall situation in the country would also be discussed in the meeting. “We have agreed to fight against mini-budget and cruel actions of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) government,” Shehbaz said.
Speaking on the occasion, the PML-N president said that in the 74-year history of Pakistan, “the PTI government is the most incompetent”, adding the country was undergoing the “most difficult period of its history.”
Shehbaz added that during the meeting with the JUI-F chief they also discussed the no-confidence motion and that issue would be further highlighted in the meeting later this month.
Shedding light on the “mini-budget”, he said that a new wave of inflation would be seen because of the supplementary finance bill presented by the government.
“We will fully oppose the cruel economic measure taken by the government including the proposed mini-budget in the Parliament,” he reiterated.
Shehbaz further added that surprisingly, the government is “prioritising the interests and agendas of international institutions over the interests of Pakistani citizens.”
“We haven’t seen a more incompetent, emaciated, and corrupt government in the history of Pakistan,” Shehbaz said.
He added that the PDM would become the “voice of the common man against rising inflation.”
Responding to a question regarding deployment of military in second phase of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) local elections, Rehman categorically rejected the deployment of the military, saying the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should not make itself controversial.
He accused that the KP government was making administrative changes at the tehsil level before the second phase of LG elections. He said the ECP should not call the army in the next phase of LG polls and avoid making itself controversial.
He said the ECP should not be enslaved. He said “We have not accepted the results of 2018 general elections which were largely rigged,” adding that at present from district to tehsil level in the KPK transfers and posting were being made, therefore, the ECP must take serious action.
The opposition believes that the people will directly fight for their rights, adding the upcoming long march would be a revolutionary step in the history of Pakistan. He also added that the PDM would observe solidarity with the people of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) on February 5.
He said Imran Khan was turning Pakistan into a colony from an independent state at the behest of global organisations. The State Bank is being turned powerless in the name of granting power, while it is being tied up with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is analogous to making Pakistan a colony from an independent state, the PDM chief asserted.
“We will not let Imran Khan and his regime leave Pakistan at the mercy of global organsations,” he vowed.
He said the long march announced against the government had become inevitable and the PDM would march towards the capital on March 23 in a bid to oust the PTI-led government.
“The government does not realise the grievances of the common man,” he said, adding the “entire nation will participate in this anti-government march.”
Shedding light on the agenda of the meeting, which is to be held on January 25, he said the anti-government alliance parties were considering options for “the immediate dismissal of the incumbent government.”
“We appeal [to] the coalition parties of the government to think in the national interest of Pakistan and about the common people,” Fazl said, adding the PDM wanted to keep Pakistan have a “free economy.”
The PDM chief further said that on February 5, the workers of the PML-N and the JUI-F would march towards Islamabad-DI Khan Motorway to inaugurate the project started by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
He said Imran Khan as opposition leader continuously opposed all the developmental projects especially the construction of motorways and roads; therefore, the PDM workers would not allow him to inaugurate such developmental projects.
This report was first published in Business Recorder on Jan 13, 2022.