PESHAWAR: Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chairman Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said it is being claimed that the backbone of terrorists in Balochistan and merged tribal districts has been broken, but the recent wave of lawlessness has proved it wrong.

While speaking at a public gathering in Bannu on Wednesday, the Maulana said the army should pull back from Balochistan and tribal districts, return to barracks and hand over their management to the civilian administration.

He said the tribesmen were first disarmed and then they were left at the mercy of terrorists. He was of the opinion that peace could not be restored to these areas until the army was sent back to the barracks. “I call for the immediate withdrawal of the army from Balochistan and merged districts and handover of its management to the civilian administration,” he said.

Bilawal, Maryam absent themselves from PDM rally in Bannu

Condemning the barbaric incident in Mach, Balochistan, the PDM chief said the people of the Hazara community were ruthlessly massacred. He said the incident showed growing lawlessness in Pakistan, while terrorists were roaming freely.

“The PDM condemns the killing of innocent Hazaras, shows solidarity with the bereaved families and considers it a failure of the puppet government,” he said, adding that people were unsafe even in Islamabad. A 22-year-old youth was martyred by police in Islamabad for no reason.

Criticising the government’s policies, the PDM chief said the selected prime minister had publicly confessed that he neither had a team, nor accurate facts and figures about the economy. There was no dearth of competent people in the country, he said, calling Mr Khan incompetent. “You are incompetent and your only qualification is how to rear dogs,” he remarked.

He said the common man had lost purchasing power and the incompetent government’s policies forced the people to commit suicide. He said the people from across the country would soon march on Islamabad to show door to the government.

The PDM convener said Islamabad was trying to usurp the rights of the provinces and roll back provincial autonomy, but he warned that the 10-party alliance would foil such designs.

The provinces had the rights over natural resources, he said, adding that islands belonged to Balochistan and Sindh.

The Maulana also accused Mr Khan of making army generals controversial, asking the military top brass to show their impartiality. “You (army generals) will have to prove either you are with the ‘fake’ government or with the people of Pakistan,” he said.

He said the selectors were responsible for imposing such incompetent government on the country. He said that the PDM had started this movement for supremacy of the constitution, rule of law and strengthening of parliament. He announced that the alliance would stage protest demonstrations in front of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) offices on January 19 and would hold a million march in Karachi on January 21 against the recognition of Israel.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari did not attend the rally. Ms Nawaz could not turn up due to health reasons.

Addressing the rally, PML-N central leader Ahsan Iqbal said the government had failed to maintain law and order in the country. He said mourners had organised a sit-in in Quetta along with coffins of slain miners for the last four days, but the selected premier could not gather courage to visit them.

He said a special assistant to the prime minister instead of showing sympathies with the mourners offended them by asking what they could do for the prime minister.

The rally was also addressed by Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Farhatullah Babar, Akram Khan Durrani, Ameer Haidar Hoti and Ameer Muqam.

Published in Dawn, January 7th, 2021

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