PDM will reach Islamabad with sea of supporters to get rid of 'corrupt' PTI govt: Shehbaz

Published August 29, 2021
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman (C), and other PDM leaders stand during an anti-government rally in Karachi on Sunday. — AFP
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman (C), and other PDM leaders stand during an anti-government rally in Karachi on Sunday. — AFP
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif addresses a PDM rally in Karachi on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif addresses a PDM rally in Karachi on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday said it had become inevitable for the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to march to Islamabad with a "sea of supporters" to get rid of inflation and what he termed the "corrupt and lying" PTI government.

Addressing a massive rally of the opposition alliance in Karachi — its first such public gathering in months, Shehbaz hit out at the government, alleging that Prime Minister Imran Khan had failed to fulfil the promises he made to the people of Karachi and increased poverty and unemployment in the country.

He said PDM President and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman will be in the lead as "we will go to [Islamabad] with hundreds of thousands of people to end inflation and politically bury this fake and corrupt government."

The opposition leader recalled that Prime Minister Imran had announced a development package of Rs162 billion for Karachi in March 2019 and another Rs1.1 trillion package in 2020, claiming that the government had not released those funds "except a few pennies" till now.

"People are being misled through false promises," he alleged, saying the PML-N had worked with other stakeholders during its tenure and restored peace and ended extortion and targeted killings in Karachi.

Also read: Can the PDM survive?

Despite the government's claims, Shehbaz said, the prices of food items and electricity had sky-rocketed, while "Imran Khan speaks of Riyasat-e-Madina while sitting in his 350-kanal Banigala palace".

PDM supporters shout slogans during an anti-government rally in Karachi on August 29. — AFP
PDM supporters shout slogans during an anti-government rally in Karachi on August 29. — AFP

He said if the PDM was given the chance, inflation will decline again, employment opportunities will be generated and there will be education and medical facilities.

Shehbaz remarked that although the first Metro Bus service was started by the PML-N in Lahore in 2012, "the right to get the first Metro Bus was of Karachi."

He noted that Karachi generated a large chunk of the country's revenues and was looking after people from across the country "like a mother".

"But our treatment with this city that hosted people from across Pakistan was that of a stepmother," the PML-N leader added.

After a months-long lull, the PDM had on Saturday announced that it would relaunch its anti-government campaign by organising rallies and caravans across the country next month after Sunday's public meeting in Karachi.

Speaking after an hours-long meeting of the PDM, Rehman said the alliance had decided to go with “full force” against the government and make every effort for restoration of a “true, democratic and strong parliamentary system” in the country.

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