Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an alliance of 11 opposition parties, has given the PTI-led government an ultimatum that it should resign by January 31 or else finalised date of its planned march on Islamabad to topple it will be announced on February 1.
“If the government does not resign by January 31 then the PDM will march on Islamabad,” announced JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, while addressing a joint press conference in Lahore. The news conference was held following a consultative session of the opposition alliance on Monday.
He said the schedule for the long-march given to the provincial leaders of PDM by the alliance’s steering committee will remain unchanged.
Fazl, who also heads PDM, also said that opposition leaders have signed a historic declaration against the PTI-led government in today’s meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz rebuked the reports that she expressed displeasure over party leaders for not being able to gather a large number of people at Minar-e-Pakistan, where the alliance held a public gathering last night.
She said despite extreme temperature, people in huge number attended Sunday’s power show and that the ground filled to its capacity. “People were listening to the speeches standing outside the ground,” she insisted.
“If they [government] step down and announce fresh elections only then we will hold dialogue,” said Fazl, adding that opposition parties will hold talks from the PDM platform only.
PPP chairman Bilwal Bhutto Zardari, who was also present at the presser, reiterated that the time for dialogue with the government had passed and opposition parties will not backtrack from their demand of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s resignation. “Time for Imran Khan’s resignation has come.”
Responding to the question regarding differences within his party over matter of resigning from all legislative assemblies, Bilawal said all leaders including him will be bound to accept the decision of party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC).
The sixth PDM power show – held in what is regarded as the bastion of the PMLN – was earlier dubbed as a referendum against the federal government, which, the PDM claims, came into power in the wake of a rigged polls in July 2018 But contrary to the expectations, Lahore rally – also hosted by the PML-N – was not as impressive.
The presence of the workers of other parties especially the JUI-F and PML-N workers from other parts of Punjab, however, did provide a face-saving. Even leaders of other parties acknowledged the PML-N local supporters’ lack of participation.
JUI-F chief Fazl, while addressing the rally, had announced the PDM’s plan to take out a long march towards Islamabad “with resignations in our pockets towards the end of January or start of February”.