PDM drive against govt termed ‘jihad’

Published January 12, 2021
Supporters of the Pakistan Democratic Movement welcome the leaders before the rally on Monday.—Dawn
Supporters of the Pakistan Democratic Movement welcome the leaders before the rally on Monday.—Dawn

MALAKAND: Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has declared the opposition’s struggle against the government a jihad, claiming that the nation is ready to offer any sacrifice for this cause. He pledged that the jihad would continue till “rulers stopped oppressing the poor”.

Speaking at a public meeting at Batkhela in Malakand district, Maulana Fazl said that opposition parties were struggling against those who had snatched the mandate of people. He said this sea of people would remove the “incompetent and selected” government from power.

Maulana Fazl alleged that the government was conspiring against the Constitution and provinces. He said at present there was no democracy in the country and “martial law is in place which is worse than General Zia’s and Gen Musharraf’s eras”.

He said people had no choice but to gather under the umbrella of the PDM to kick out this “incompetent government” and restore real democracy in the country.

Maulana Fazl bitterly criticised the ongoing accountability process in the country and termed it partial and challenged NAB officials to come and arrest him if they had the courage. He said NAB was only filing cases against leaders of opposition parties and it had closed eyes on the corruption of leaders of the incumbent government.

On this occasion, he announced that the PDM would stage protest in front of the Election Commission in Islamabad on Jan 19 and also hold a protest million march in Karachi on Jan 21 against conspiracy to recognise Israel.

He said the foreign funding case of PTI was pending in the election commission, adding that the case was deliberately being delayed because the money sent to the PTI came from India and Israel.

He reiterated to march on Islamabad soon, adding that the entire nation was ready now to oust the government.

He said the army should go back to barracks from tribal areas of KP and Balochistan if no acts of terrorism took place in the country.

He questioned if Gilgit-Baltistan could be made a province then why former Fata areas could not be given the status of a province.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also addressed the public meeting and said that this rally was a referendum against the “selected government”, adding that the people of Malakand had given their verdict to oust incompetent rulers from power.

Referring to the seven-year rule of the PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he said the people had become fed up with rulers due to their continued suffering at the hands of these incompetent and fake rulers for a long time.

He said the PTI had failed to fulfill promises it had made with people during election campaign. He asserted that the PPP had delivered whatever it had promised during the election campaign.

The PPP leader said that former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had fulfilled his promise by abolishing the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR).

Mr Bilawal accused the government of trying to snatch the share of NFC Award from provinces and deny constitutional rights to the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He vowed to get rid of this “puppet government” and restore true democracy in the country with the support of the masses. He said the people of Malakand were brave as neither they bowed down before terrorists nor dictators.

Coming hard on the prime minister, Mr Bilawal said that when the Army Public School in Peshawar had been attacked, this “coward Imran” was dancing at the D-Chowk in Islamabad and now when families of Shia Hazara victims of the Mach tragedy were staging the sit-in, the prime minister had called them “blackmailers”.

He alleged that the prime minister had proved that “blood of the people is cheaper in Naya Pakistan than their life”, adding that this was the change which the PTI leader had promised.

He said the economy of the country had been ruined by policies of the “selected government”, adding that “even economies of poor countries like Afghanistan and Bangladesh are going up at a rapid pace than Pakistan.”

Mr Bilawal said that Mr Imran had promised to give 10 million jobs to the unemployed youth and build five million houses for the homeless, but after coming into power, the “incompetent government” had started destroying houses in the name of encroachments.

Mr Bilawal termed the ongoing accountability process one-sided and selected one, adding that corruption could only be eliminated from society when the process of accountability was fair, even-handed and was the same for everyone including politicians, judges and army generals.

The PPP government, he said, gave provinces their rights under the 18th Amendment, but the incumbent government was trying to do away and tamper with it. He, however, said the opposition would not let the government tamper with the 18th amendment which had been passed unanimously.

Referring to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the PPP chief said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was the brainchild of former president Asif Ali Zardari. He asked the people to support the PDM for the betterment of the country.

Earlier, the rally was also addressed by PML-N provincial chief Amir Muqam, PkMAP chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Amir Haider Khan Hoti, Maulana Owais Noorani, Agha Hassan and others.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2021

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