PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz wave to people upon their arrival at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh on Sunday.
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz wave to people upon their arrival at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh on Sunday.

• Maryam lambastes ‘violators of constitution’
• Zardari asks PDM to mull over ‘filling jails’

LARKANA: The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leaders, who gathered at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh on the occasion of the 13th death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto, said that the days of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government were numbered as it was bound to collapse under its own burden.

Addressing the public gathering via video link, PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari said that opposition parties would have to “change their mindset and “fill jails” to increase pressure on the government.

Without naming Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said like Gen Musharraf was waiting for an opportunity to return to Pakistan, “you [PM] will also go and your party will no more remain in government”.

Mr Zardari challenged the prime minister to go for general elections and “you will feel the pulse of people”.

In the first appearance at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh for any Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader, Maryam Nawaz began her speech by addressing the crowd in Sindhi language as jiyala bhayero (jiyala brothers). The crowd gave her standing ovation and she thanked them in traditional Sindhi style of clasping her hands.

“The violators of the constitution, who unconstitutionally poke their nose into politics and commit corruption worth billions of rupees, are branded innocent while politicians have to face bullets, jails and character assassination through the media,” she said.

She said that the “constitution violators” had benefited from the mistakes committed by politicians in the past. But they realised the mistakes leading to emergence of pro-people governments one of which completed its term.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that the days of darkness were about to end and asked the audience to pledge that they would participate in the PDM’s long march.

If more time was granted to the PTI government, it would sink the country’s boat, he said and added that like Gen Musharraf, Imran Khan’s name would also be erased from history.

The PPP chairman declared that if Imran Khan didn’t quit as prime minister until Jan 31, the PDM would start its long march on Islamabad.

This was the first public gathering in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh to be addressed by leaders of various political parties.

Speaking on the occasion, Balochistan National Party-Mengal chief Akhtar Jan Mengal spoke about the injustices committed with Balochistan and recalled the struggle of people of the province against the dictators.

He said that the sorrows of Sindh and Balochistan were similar as both the provinces were facing the issue of missing persons.

Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl criticized economic policies of the government that have “broken the back of the people”.

He said that the PTI government was using the National Accountability Bureau as an “instrument to tame us but we don’t care about it”.

National Party leader Dr Abdul Malik Baloch said that there was threat to democracy, the parliament was held hostage, workers were being sacked and haris were rendered landless and asked as to for how long the people would be ruled through the use of force.

He said that under a conspiracy the islands of Sindh and Balochistan had been occupied and Gwadar people were being made hostage by erecting a fence in the city.

Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party leader Mehmood Khan Achakzai said that it was good omen that despite the establishment’s efforts to pit politicians against each other, “we are today sitting together at the mausoleum of martyrs”.

Awais Noorani, chief of his faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan, said that the mammoth gathering on the occasion of Benazir Bhutto’s death anniversary indicated the dictators had been defeated and democracy lovers were winners.

Earlier, caravans of PPP activists carrying party flags and raising slogans kept pouring in the venue of the public meeting.

Published in Dawn, December 28th, 2020

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