United opposition’s Pakistan Democratic Movement to commence anti-government rallies with demonstration in Gujranwala
The united opposition’s Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) on Monday revised its previously issued schedule for public rallies calling for the ouster of the incumbent government, with the first demonstration to now take place in Gujranwala on Oct. 16 (Friday).
Addressing a press conference alongside other leaders of the 11-party PDM, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)’s Ahsan Iqbal said the coalition’s steering committee had decided to hold “massive” gatherings to advance their narrative for civilian supremacy. The unveiled schedule is as follows:
Gujranwala – Oct. 16
Karachi – Oct. 18
Quetta – Oct. 25
Peshawar – Nov. 22
Multan – Nov. 30
Lahore – Dec. 13
The PDM had earlier planned to stage a rally in Quetta on Oct. 18, but was compelled to delay it after the Pakistan Peoples Party objected, saying it would be marking the anniversary of the 2007 Karsaz bombing. In response, the PDM has decided to join the PPP during that rally and postpone the Quetta demonstration till Oct. 25.
“[Our rallies] will culminate with a massive gathering in Lahore on Dec. 13, after which this fake setup will not be able to stand on its feet and the nation will announce that they want the rule of Constitution and law in the country,” Iqbal said at his press conference.
The PDM’s steering committee also clarified its current leadership, saying the PMLN’s Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had been appointed its secretary-general, while PPP’s Raja Pervaiz Ashraf would serve as its vice-president. ANP’s Mian Iftikhar Hussain would be the alliance’s information secretary.
Iqbal said the participants of Monday’s meeting had all condemned the first information report lodged against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and other PMLN leaders for “conspiracy.” He alleged that the government had damaged the Kashmir cause by implicating Pakistan-administered Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider in the case.
Abbasi, meanwhile, told the press that the PDM wanted to ensure relief for the public. “This government is selected and it has destroyed the economy. [The PDM demands] the country should be run according to the Constitution,” he said.
He said the masses would join the PDM’s campaign against the government and that Pakistan would see “a new beginning of democracy” after it.
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said the basic aim of the movement was to express the thoughts and emotions of the Pakistani people. “Today, people in Pakistan are suffering as they are unemployed, and if we don’t raise our voice for them it would be a grave injustice,” he said.