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PDM to Relaunch Anti-Government Protests from Today

by Newsweek Pakistan

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Opposition alliance’s latest protests will kick off with rally in Rawalpindi and will focus on impact of rampant inflation on common man

The opposition’s Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) alliance is set to relaunch its anti-government protests from today (Wednesday), with senior leaders emphasizing they will focus on the PTI’s “anti-poor” policies that have facilitate rampant inflation of essential commodities.

According to a statement issued by the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)—the largest opposition party in the PDM—Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday chaired a high-level meeting to finalize the schedule for protests and rallies against the PTI-led government. It said that the PMLN would organize its first protest in Rawalpindi today (Wednesday), adding that Sharif had urged all workers and leaders of the party at the district and provincial levels to join the protests to ensure their success.

The PDM, meanwhile, is slated to meet today (Wednesday) in Islamabad to finalize the schedule for its joint protests in Islamabad.

Earlier, PDM President Maulana Fazlur Rehman told media that the alliance would protest against inflation; the government’s attempts to utilize electronic voting machines in the next general elections; and a recently promulgated ordinance that had extended the tenure of the incumbent chairman of the National Accountability Bureau. He stressed that the PDM wanted fresh elections nationwide, adding that the alliance had not yet written off the possibility of a long march toward the federal capital.

No threat

As the PDM’s plans ramp up, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said the government feels no threat from the opposition because it is “spineless.” Claiming that Prime Minister Imran Khan was “very lucky” because he had been blessed with a “worthless” opposition, he reiterated the government’s oft-repeated—and largely dismissed—claims of the prevailing situation being a result of the “flawed” policies of previous governments.

“This worthless Opposition has not been able to make any decision so far,” he emphasized, noting that the PDM had been threatening to oust the incumbent government for nearly a year with no concrete action to facilitate this goal. “Every opposition claims that the government will be ousted soon … we also did the same,” he said.

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