PDM to boycott joint parliament session on Sept 13

Published September 11, 2021
ISLAMABAD: PDM spokesman Hafiz Hamdullah talking to the media on Friday.—White Star
ISLAMABAD: PDM spokesman Hafiz Hamdullah talking to the media on Friday.—White Star

• Alliance ready to hold consultation with all parties for march on Islamabad
• Plans to hold grand convention on 26th, public meetings next month
• Condemns Swati, Babar for ‘abusing’ ECP, parliament

ISLAMABAD: While announcing a second phase of its anti-government campaign, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — an alliance of some opposition parties — decided on Friday to boycott the joint sitting of parliament and join media workers’ protest outside the Parliament House on Sept 13 when President Dr Arif Alvi is scheduled to address the session to mark the fourth parliamentary year of the National Assembly.

The PDM executive committee in a meeting chaired by Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman also decided to hold consultation with all opposition parties for staging a long march against the government in Islamabad.

The executive committee also planned to hold PDM’s grand convention on Sept 26 in the federal capital where members of legal and journalist fraternity as well as labourers, farmers and clerks will be invited.

The alliance announced that it would issue a white paper against the government and would expose what it called “wrongdoings, failures and faulty policies of the government”.

Besides, the JUI-F would invite leaders of all PDM member parties to a memorial ceremony for Mufti Mehmood, father of Maulana Fazl, on Oct 14.

While giving details of the executive committee meeting, PDM spokesman Hamdullah told a presser that the alliance had decided to boycott the joint sitting of the parliament on Sept 13. He hinted that the opposition parties would go to the Parliament on the day and hold a protest before boycotting the session.

About the PDM’s second phase of anti-government campaign, Mr Hamdullah said the grand convention would be held on Sept 26 in Islamabad.

A public meeting scheduled for Oct 16 in Faisalabad would be followed by one in Dera Ghazi Khan on Oct 31, he disclosed.

After the public meetings, he added, the PDM would announce dates of a road caravan and a long march towards the federal capital.

The PDM meeting earlier rejected the government plan to introduce Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in the next general elections.

The spokesperson claimed that federal minister and PM’s adviser in Senate standing committee on electoral reforms had abused the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the PDM strongly condemned it.

“Babar Awan and Azam Swati insulted the parliament and the election commission,” he added.

Earlier, the Presidency announced officially that President Alvi would address the joint sitting of the parliament at 11am on Sept 13 to start fourth parliamentary year of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led regime.

The mandatory address of the President under Article 56(3) of the Constitution has been due since August 13, the starting date of the new parliamentary year.

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2021

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