ISLAMABAD: The heads of component parties of the opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) on Monday deferred their discussion on the agenda, which included a planned long march towards Islamabad, due to the death of nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, former Azad Kashmir prime minister Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA from Lahore Pervez Malik and decided to meet again on October 18.
PDM spokesman Hafiz Hamdullah told reporters that during the meeting, presided over by the alliance’s president Maulana Fazlur Rehman and attended by all the heads of the component parties, including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif through video link, the participants paid rich tribute to the founder of the country’s nuclear programme Dr Qadeer Khan for his services to the nation.
Mr Hamdullah, however, said the already announced public meeting of the PDM in Faisalabad would be held according to the schedule on October 16. He said the next meeting of the PDM heads would be held at the same venue in Islamabad on October 18 to take up the deferred agenda.
The agenda of the meeting included a discussion on the current political situation with reference to price hike and the proposed electoral reforms of the government, which included the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the next elections. Besides this, the recently promulgated controversial ordinance granting extension to the tenure of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal was also part of the agenda for the meeting.
Meeting’s participants pay rich tribute to Dr Qadeer Khan for his services to nation
Moreover, the PDM heads were required to give an approval to schedule of the anti-government public meetings in various cities during the months of November and December before announcing a long march towards Islamabad.
Later, talking informally to reporters, PDM president Maulana Fazlur Rehman rejected the recently promulgated NAB Ordinance, terming it a “person-specific law”. He said that unfortunately the government was bringing “unnecessary legislations” only to give rewards to the individuals.
The Maulana, who is also the head of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F), once again rejected the electoral reforms proposed by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, questioning as to how a government which had come into existence through alleged rigging could talk about the electoral reforms.
“The government which has come into existence through rigging is suggesting electoral reforms to us. These can be the signs of the doomsday. From where did it get such a courage?” he asked while commenting upon the government-proposed electoral reforms.
The Maulana said the present “illegitimate government” had failed to deliver anything for the public and the country, asking the politicians to come out on the streets.
Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2021