MULTAN: Pakistan Democratic Movement chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said the next meeting of the leadership of the 11-party opposition alliance will be held on Dec 8 in Islamabad where its further strategy will be devised.
The Maulana who heads his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) paid a visit to the Gilani House on Tuesday to congratulate former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and his sons over the successful public meeting of the PDM here. Later, talking to the media at a joint presser with Mr Gilani, he said the final decision in connection with the “long march” on the federal capital, which the opposition had been warning of, would also be taken in the PDM’s Islamabad meeting.
Acknowledging the efforts Mr Gilani and his sons made for holding the opposition event despite government’s pressure tactics, the Maulana said the sons of the former premier faced all kinds of hardships while leading their party workers from front and worked hard to make the public meeting successful by removing all obstacles in its way.
Gilani says Bilawal to attend Lahore show
He reiterated that Prime Minister Imran Khan had become “irrelevant” to all sorts of political and administrative decisions being taken in the country. He said the PDM was fighting for the rights of the people.
Responding to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leaders allegation that the opposition’s agitation had hit the country’s economy, he said the growth rate in the tenure of the previous (PML-N) government was 5.5 percent and the target for the next year was six per cent, but during the tenure of the two years of the PTI government it plummeted to 0.4pc.
“Who is responsible for such a huge loss to the economy,” he asked. He also rejected PM Khan’s claim that the economy was improving.
He regretted that the prices of life-saving medicines had been increasing rapidly, while the ratio of unemployment in the country was also rising with every passing day.
The former chairman of the Kashmir Committee also questioned the government’s policies with regard to Kashmir and Palestine, saying its priorities had changed. He deplored that on one hand the government “handed over Kashmir to Modi and on the other, it is going to handover Palestine to Israel while foreign policy of the country is a complete failure.”
Mr Gilani said the PPP was thankful to the Maulana who being the PDM head, gave them an opportunity to host two public meetings of the alliance (in Karachi and Multan).
He said despite all hurdles created by the government, the PDM event was successful and, as a result, now the government ministers were themselves admitting their approach was wrong. “Why these ministers were unable to judge the public sentiment,” he asked.
He said Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari had participated in the rally as PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was in quarantine after he tested positive for the coronavirus.
However, he added that Mr Bilawal would represent the party in the PDM’s Lahore rally scheduled for Dec 13.
Mr Gilani said he was also thankful to the people of Multan who participated in the public meeting in a large number.
Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2020