Pakistan’s Opposition leaders resolve to overthrow Imran Khan regime

Pakistan’s opposition parties have stepped up movement to oust Prime Minister  Imran Khan at their second rally defying all obstacles created by him. Imran Khan is a failed  Prime Minister. He is “incapable and clueless”, and his government is worse than a dictatorship, they added. Two back-to-back joint opposition rallies in Pakistan that have attracted crowds of tens of thousands despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the first in Gujranwala on October 16, and the second one two days later in Karachi, the country’s biggest city, have rattled the remaining two and a half years of Imran Khan’s term in office, says The Indian Express. The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an alliance of 11 opposition parties formed on September 20, has launched a three-phased anti-government movement under an “action plan” to remove the Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government. As per the number of rallies public meetings and demonstrations will be held across the country before a “decisive long march” to Islamabad in January next year. The first of these rallies were held on Friday in Gujranwala near Lahore.This incapable and clueless prime minister will have to go home,” Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, son of iconic Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, said on Sunday. She was assassinated while campaigning in  2007. He was speaking at the Bagh-e-Jinnah, which was packed with people including supporters and workers of the alliance’s members. History has proved that the biggest dictators could not survive and “what standing does this puppet have?”, Zardari said “this is not a new fight but this will be a decisive fight” against Imran Khan. The rally also marked the 13th anniversary of the twin blasts in Karsaz that targeted the homecoming procession of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007 injuring around 200 people dead and several injured.Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice presidents Maryam Nawaz and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chairman Mehmood Achakzai and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman were among the leaders of opposition parties who attended the rally.The PPP also invited Mohsin Dawar, who heads the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement  to address the gathering at the Bagh-e-Jinnah. Maryam Nawaz, daughter of exiled former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, attacked the PTI government for declaring opposition leaders and her father as “traitors”. “When answers are demanded, you say we are traitors,” said the PML-N vice president. Fatima Jinnah, the sister of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was also declared a traitor, Maryam Nawaz told the gathering. PM Khan is a “coward”, Maryam said and accused him of using the armed forces for his face-saving and declaring opponents as traitors only to save his skin and hide incompetence.”Do not scare us (by declaring us) traitors,” the PML-N vice president said and added that “when you (Khan) are pressed for answers, you hide behind the armed forces”. “You bring the army into disrepute. You use them (army) to hide your failures. Who gave you this right?” Maryam asked. “Remember this, one or two personalities are not the entire institution, but one or two people can defame the entire institution, and when they take the cover of that institution, they cause heavy losses to that institution,” she said.”We cannot respect those who violate their oaths. Is Nawaz Sharif wrong in saying that the army should not interfere in politics?” she asked. Addressing the first power show of the PDM in Gujranwala via video link from London on Friday, Sharif had accused the military and Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI of being behind his ouster as premier and installing their “puppet government” by bringing Imran Khan into power. It was for the first time that the 70-year-old PML-N supremo, who was ousted from power in 2017 by the Supreme Court on graft charges, directly named army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI head Lt Gen Faiz Hameed for interfering in the elections of 2018 to ensure the victory of Khan. PM  Khan warned that he would be getting tough with the opposition and would ensure Sharif is brought back from London and put in jail for his deeds. Sharif has been living in London since November last year after he was allowed by the courts and the government to go there for a period of eight weeks for medical treatment. But he did not come back, while his lawyers told the court that he was still recovering. The Islamabad High Court through newspaper advertisements has asked Sharif to appear before it by November 24 to avoid being declared a “proclaimed offender”. Baseless cases were being lodged against political workers in  Waziristan, Gilgit Baltistan, Baluchistan or Sindh. The current regime is “worse than a dictatorship”, he said.The PDM will hold rallies in Quetta on October 25, Peshawar on November 22, Multan on November 30 and then in Lahore on December 13.Opposition leaders have announced that they would use all political and democratic options, including no-confidence motions and mass resignations from Parliament to seek “the selected” prime minister’s resignation. Courtesy to AP/Fareed Khan

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