Opposition kick-starts anti-govt campaign from Balochistan

Published April 14, 2024
Supporters of the six-party alliance attend the rally in Pishin, on Saturday.—Dawn
Supporters of the six-party alliance attend the rally in Pishin, on Saturday.—Dawn

QUETTA: Launching a countrywide movement against the government from Pishin in Balochistan on Saturday, the central leaders of six opposition parties’ alliance underlined the need for a joint struggle for making Pakistan a true democratic state and restoring the rule of law and Constitution.

The Pishin deputy commissioner had imposed Section 144 on Friday after the announcement of the grand alliance — Tehreek Tahafuz Ayeen-i-Pakistan (TTAP) — banning its first public meeting in the district.

However, the meeting was held and no hurdle was created by the administration.

Addressing the participants at Taj Lala Stadium, the leaders of the six-party alliance said Pakistan belongs to all linguistic groups, including Baloch, Pashtoon, Punjabi and Sindhi, and they are the real owner of the country.

Leaders of six-party alliance stress joint struggle for ‘true democracy, rule of law and Constitution’

Leaders of the alliance, including PkMAP Chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai, BNP-M chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal, PTI leaders Omar Ayub Khan and Sher Afzal Marwat, Sunni Ittehad Council Chairman Sahibzada Hamid Raza, Majlis Wahdat Muslimeen Chairman Raja Nasir Abbas and Jamaat-i-Islami leader Dr Attaur Rehman, addressed the rally.

Omar Ayub, the PTI secretary general, said the alliance is embarking on jihad for protection of the Constitution and democracy.

He claimed that the Balochistan government had imposed a ban on their activities in the province and party workers and flags are being targeted and suppressed. He said that had the PTI been allowed to secure its “mandate under Form-45”, it would have formed government in the Centre. He alleged that hundreds of PTI workers and leaders are being unlawfully detained.

The PTI leader demanded that CCTV footage of the May 9 events be released, as it will reveal the truth, adding that the alliance’s objective is to ensure the supremacy of the Constitution and rule of law in the country.

Mehmood Achakzai said: “We say murdabad [death] to those who do not accept supremacy of the Constitution of Pakistan and our alliance has launched a movement for its implementation and protection.”

He said the Constitution is a binding force for the country and under it all citizens should be given equal rights. Indirectly criticizing the politics of electables, he said “seasonal birds” have no importance in the eyes of the people of Balochistan.

“The leaders of all political parties took oath that they will not accept such seasonal birds in their parties,” Mr Achakzai said, adding that whatever Imran Khan was in the past, but today he is the strongest candidate of parliament.

He said the ‘Form-47 government’ cannot run the affairs of the country and with the passage of time they will destroy the economy as they have no ability to deal with the issues facing the country.

Akhtar Mengal said: “We reject the legitimacy of the ‘Form-47 government’ and of Article 144. Our struggle will persist until constitutional supremacy is restored.”

He questioned the efficacy of repressive measures, wondering “how can Section 144 deter political activism that even natural calamities cannot suppress”. He said the political workers fought against the toughest martial law.

Sher Afzal, Sahibzada Hamid Raza, Raja Nasir Abbas and Dr Attaur Rehman said that despite hurdles created by the government in the way of “our struggle, we will succeed in our goal and will protect the Constitution for ensuring the rights of the people and rule of law and Constitution in the country.

Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2024

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