PESHAWAR: As the Pakistan Democratic Movement will hold its power show here today (Sunday), chief of the opposition’s alliance Maulana Fazlur Rehman has asked the military establishment to ‘withdraw its support to the puppet’ PTI government.
“Americans have sent Donald Trump home and our Trump, too, will be shown the door soon,” Mr Fazl told reporters here on Saturday without naming Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The PDM chief claimed that the opposition enjoyed the support of civil bureaucracy.
He said the anti-government movement had reached its peak and the PDM had finalised its organisational structure and manifesto.
“I ask the establishment to stop supporting this illegitimate and incapable puppet government and if that happens, the government will collapse immediately,” he said.
PDM to stage power show in Peshawar today
Mr Fazl said the PDM considered the PTI government to be a threat to the very existence of the country and if something bad happened to the state, then the military establishment would be equally responsible.
He said the PDM would announce its future course of action in the Peshawar public meeting.
The PMD chief said the government made desperate attempts to foil the Peshawar rally under the garb of Covid-19 pandemic but they failed to sway the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He said the PDM would hold its next rally in Larkana on Nov 26 with the JUI-F being the host, while Multan would host a public meeting on Nov 30.
“The country is witnessing its worst economic crisis with the State Bank of Pakistan reporting the plunging of the Gross Domestic Product to 0.4 per cent.
“Our GDP has reached an all-time low since 1951-52,” he said.
On the occasion, former MNA and senior leader of JUI-Sami Maulana Shah Abdul Aziz and his supporters announced the joining of the JUI-F.
Maulana Abdul Aziz, who belongs to Karak district, was elected MNA in the 2002 elections. He also contested the 2018 elections and secured more than 16,000 votes.
Though the district administration has rejected the PDM request for rally permission citing the spike in Covid-19 incidence as a reason, the conglomerate of 11 national and regional political parties claims it will hold a massive rally on Ring Road today.
Workers of political parties put up a stage with the help of shipping containers.
Organisers said the Peshawar public meeting would begin at around 11am and central PDM leaders, including Maulana Fazl, Maryam Nawaz, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Ameer Haider Hoti, Mahmood Khan Achackzai and Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, would address it.
A member of the organising committee said the opposition parties had arranged face masks and hand sanitisers for participants, while the district administration would also distribute face masks.
He said adherence to SOPs would be ensured in the rally to the maximum.
The traffic police hace chalked out a traffic plan for the rally and banned the entry of all heavy traffic to the city.
Pakistan Peoples Party MPA Ahmad Kundi said the Peshawar rally would be bigger than the PDM’s Gujranwala and Karachi rallies as the opposition parties had mobilised their workers for it.
He said the PML-N and JUI-F had held big rallies in Peshawar in the recent past.
“The alliance’s member parties are in competition with each others to bring more and more workers to the rally. This will make this rally different from the previous ones,” he said.
The government again urged the PDM leaders to show responsibility instead of playing with the health of their workers.
Addressing a news conference here on Saturday, health minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra said the Covid-19 positivity rate in KP had alarmingly reached 12 per cent.
He said the daily count of coronavirus cases had increased from 200 to 371 and it was likely to further go up in the days ahead.
“Political activities are sending out a confusing message to the people about Covid-19 incidence, so political leadership should fulfil its responsibility,” he said.
Mr Jhagra feared that the coronavirus incidence could increase by three to four times if the people didn’t follow SOPs.
He said higher Covid-19 cases would overburden health delivery system in the province.
Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2020