Pakistan’s prime minister claims Pakistan Democratic Movement rally shows no concern for lives of ordinary citizens
In a series of tweets, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday slammed the united opposition’s Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) for endangering peoples’ lives and livelihoods by continuing to stage public gatherings amidst a recent surge in the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Problem confronting us in Pakistan during COVID-19 is of a political leadership that has never gone through any democratic struggle, nor worked with ordinary citizens to understand the problems they confront, nor contributed in any substantive way for betterment of ordinary citizens,” he said, as he claimed the opposition leaders lacked “empathy” for the masses.
“In fact not only do these ‘leaders’ lack any empathy with the masses, their families looted national wealth to further impoverish our masses. These entitled ‘leaders’ living like royalty in their secluded mansions, have simply inherited their positions because of their families,” he said the prime minister, who himself lives in an isolated 300-kanal “mansion” on the outskirts of the federal capital.
“Now their sole and desperate goal is to save their families’ looted wealth and corruption of which they are an integral part,” Khan claimed, without offering any proof of the alleged corruption of the PDM’s leadership. “This is all that guides their politics, not any concern for the lives of ordinary citizens. Their desperation to get NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance] any which way they can motivates them,” he added.
“So, when we did smart lockdown to save our poor from becoming destitute and save economy from total collapse, these ‘leaders’ opposed and demanded complete lockdown. Now, with new spike, when we again need smart lockdown, they want jalsas not caring for the lives and safety of people,” he said, even though the prime minister has repeatedly stressed that “no matter what” the government would not shut down industries or other offices, as the country cannot “afford” to sustain another mass lockdown.
“They think this is their last means of pressuring us for NRO—which will never happen,” the prime minister reiterated. “Having never worked a day in their lives, their ‘shahi’ lifestyles are directly dependent on saving their families’ ill-gotten, illegally acquired wealth through robbing and impoverish [sic] the nation,” he added.
The incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government maintains that the opposition’s anti-government movement—calling for an end to the security establishment’s political interference and a comprehensive economic plan to curb inflation—is solely intended to pressure the government to end ongoing cases of corruption against them. The opposition, meanwhile, claims the government has lost all credibility and has demanded it step down to allow for fresh general elections.
It has vowed to stage its latest “power show” in Multan today (Monday), despite the government placing Pakistan Peoples Party leaders and workers under arrest and placing barriers throughout the city to prevent the rally from proceeding.