KARACHI: After years of confrontation with it, the chief of the opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) alliance Maulana Fazlur Rahman on Friday came up with “appreciation” for the military establishment, saying its recent role had led to fair local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’ where his party Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) has grabbed the highest number of mayor and chairman seats in the polls for 39 tehsils of the province.
In a confident tone, the Maulana admitted his “serious complaints” against the military establishment in the past but in the same breath appreciated its role for staying detached from the recent electoral process unlike 2018 general elections.
“Let me explain one thing and it’s very crucial,” he said while talking to reporters after chairing a meeting of the PDM Sindh chapter which was called to review arrangements for its planned march to Islamabad against price hike in the country on March 23.
The Maulana sounded eager to make a point of what he said after a brief pause.
“We had serious complaints against the establishment in the past. Everyone knows this fact. But this time we have witnessed no interference from the establishment in the local bodies’ elections of KP. We appreciate this [strategy]. Since there’s no interference, you have seen the results. This [results of KPK general bodies’ elections] is the true reflection of the people’s opinion. It’s not like the one which we had seen in the 2018 general elections when an artificial impression was presented as public opinion.”
He termed the results of KP LG elections an “encouraging beginning” and was confident that the trend would sustain.
“The credit for this achievement goes to the PDM. Our workers and support from the people. It’s just a beginning and we hope that this [movement] would end with the same results,” he said, vowing that the coming march to Islamabad of the opposition parties would lead to end of “unjust and incompetent government” of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The Maulana nominated Allama Rashid Mahmood Soomro as chairman of the committee for the PDM’s Sindh chapter to supervise the arrangements for the March 23 march to Islamabad.
“In today’s meeting we discussed all possibilities and timelines for our preparation with representation from all parties in the PDM. The Pakistan Day reminds us of our commitment to our country and our march to Islamabad would manifest that commitment and our loyalty with the country,” said the PDM chief.
Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2021