ISLAMABAD, Nov 19: The All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM) on Monday announced a countrywide protest on Nov 23 against the imposition of the state of emergency. It welcomed a proposal by PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto for a conference of all opposition parties to chalk out a joint strategy for restoration of Constitution and judiciary.
Talking to reporters after a meeting of the alliance, PML (N) chairman Raja Zafarul Haq appealed to the people to hoist black flags on their houses and wear black armbands as a mark of protest against what he called a ‘super martial law’ imposed by Gen Musharraf.
JUI chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman did not attend the meeting, although he was in the capital and even presided over a meeting of his party in his official residence at the Parliament Lodges.
Raja Zafar had no convincing reply when asked why did Maulana Fazl not attend the alliance’s first meeting after the proclamation of emergency. He said the Maulana had sent his representatives and, therefore, his absence did not matter.
The meeting was attended by MMA president Qazi Hussain Ahmed, PML (N) leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, ANP’s Ghulam Ahmed Bilour and Haji Adeel, Advocate Hamid Khan, Abdul Rauf Mengal of the BNP, Rasool Bakhsh Palejo, Abdul Hayee Baloch, Afrasiab Khattak, Maulana Mohammad Khan Sheerani and Maulana Gul Naseeb of the JUI (F), Shah Anas Noorani of the JUP and Prof Sajid Mir.
Raja Zafar said the APDM leaders welcomed Ms Bhutto’s proposal for convening a multi-party conference. He said the alliance leaders would soon discuss the agenda and venue for the proposed conference.
When asked if the APDM would participate in the general elections under the emergency rule, he said it would be decided after consultations with all opposition parties. He, however, said the situation was not conducive for free and fair elections. He rejected the caretaker government and said that Gen Musharraf had appointed “his covering candidate” in the presidential poll as the caretaker prime minister.