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‘Opposition to Demand New Elections in Long March’

by Newsweek Pakistan

File photo of Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Arif Ali—AFP

PDM President Maulana Fazlur Rehman claims long march will not culminate without sit-in to pressure government into accepting demands

Pakistan Democratic Movement President Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Sunday claimed the united opposition’s long march on the federal capital—slated for March 26—will demand the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government step down and announce fresh elections.

In an interview with Geo News, he reiterated comments of Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leaders in hinting at the long march culminating in a sit-in. It will not be a march where “we simply come and go,” he said, promising that “we will sit there” to pressure the government.

“Imran Khan will be put under public pressure,” he said, adding the people’s concerns with the policies of the incumbent government would be voiced in public. “We do not need to approach any forum against election rigging,” he claimed.

To a question, the head of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam denied that the opposition was holding “secret talks” with any groups to resolve their anti-government movement. “Neither I, nor the PDM, have any need to speak secretly with anyone,” he claimed.

To another question on the ongoing National Accountability Bureau probe against him, Rehman reiterated his claim that “no one, including NAB, can hold me accountable for anything.” The government has, in the past, pointed out that this is undemocratic, and questioned why he has the need to hide anything if he has done nothing wrong.

Rehman said he had been a lawmaker since 1988 and had yet to even make a “mud hut” in Islamabad, suggesting he had not gathered any assets beyond means, as alleged by NAB.

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