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PDM Announces 12-Point Charter of Pakistan

by Newsweek Pakistan

Courtesy PMLN

Fazlur Rehman rejects results of Gilgit-Baltistan elections and vows to resist efforts to ban political rallies

The united opposition’s Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) on Tuesday announced a 12-point agreement, the Meesaq-e-Pakistan (Charter of Pakistan), saying it represented the objectives of their anti-government efforts.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad after a meeting of senior leaders of the parties comprising the PDM, chief Fazlur Rehman said the opposition was fulfilling its promise to the people of Pakistan to transparently share the primary aims of their platform.

The 12 points of the charter as follows:

  • Enforcement and supremacy of the Constitution of Pakistan
  • Autonomy of Parliament
  • Elimination of the security establishment and intelligence agencies from the political process
  • Establishment of an independent judiciary
  • Electoral reforms to ensure free, independent and fair polls
  • Protection of basic human and democratic rights of people
  • Protection of the rights of the provinces, and the 18th Amendment
  • Implementation of an effective local government system
  • Protection of freedom of expression and an independent media
  • Elimination of extremism and terrorism
  • Introduction of an emergency economic plan to end inflation, unemployment, and alleviate poverty
  • Protection and implementation of the Islamic provisions of the Constitution

Rehman, who is also head of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl), said the alliance had rejected the results of the Gilgit-Baltistan elections. Accusing the government of replaying the events of the “2018 general elections,” he alleged that the election had been stolen and “state machinery and institutions used freely” to rig the polls in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s favor.

Rehman claimed the Gilgit-Baltistan polls had proven the PDM’s stance that the 2018 general elections were rigged, and vowed that the movement would continue until “this selected government goes home.”

The unofficial results of all 23 constituencies of the Gilgit-Baltistan polls have the PTI winning 10 seats; independents 7; the PPP 3; the PMLN 2; and the Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen 1 seat.

Political rallies

During the press conference, the JUIF chief said that rather than reducing the number of political gatherings in light of growing cases of the novel coronavirus, the PDM would “increase its momentum” in the coming days. “We reject the decision that is being taken to suspend rallies and public meetings in the garb of coronavirus,” he said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday announced that the government was suspending all political rallies to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus but stopped short of saying that they were being banned outright. The PDM, having already staged rallies in Gujranwala, Karachi and Quetta, is scheduled to hold its next gathering in Peshawar on Nov. 22. It has also announced rallies in Multan and Lahore on Nov. 30 and Dec. 13, respectively. The PDM has also claimed that it would initiate a “long march” to Islamabad in January to seek the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“We have decided that we will not end our campaign until the selected government is sent packing,” Rehman said. He also accused the government of initiating “fake cases” against the opposition through the National Accountability Bureau and the Federal Investigation Agency, among others, in a bid to hamper their movement.

Electoral reforms

To a question on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for electoral reforms earlier in the day, Rehman claimed it was an attempt to pressure lawmakers. “We are taking measures to block this but we can’t share them at this stage,” he said.

To another question, he said there were no plans to hold any dialogue with the government, reiterating the PDM’s claims that the incumbent setup does not represent the will of the masses.

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