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November 18, 2020

Defying ban: PDM to hold scheduled rallies

Top Story

November 18, 2020

Defying ban: PDM to hold scheduled rallies

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) on Tuesday announced to defy the ban on public meetings and also reached a consensus on a 12-point Charter of Pakistan, deciding that the opposition would not rest till the departure of the government.

A meeting of heads of 11 parties and other senior leaders was held here with the PDM President Maulana Fazlur Rehman in the chair. “We reject the ban on public meetings in the name of preventive measures against Covid-19,” Maulana Fazlur Rehman told newsmen after the meeting.

Fazlur Rehman, who was also instrumental in the creation of PDM, said the movement would go ahead with its already announced schedule of public meetings. The PDM plans to stage the next power show in Peshawar on November 22 followed by public meetings in Multan on November 30 and in Lahore on December 13.

To a question, Maulana Fazlur Rehman ruled out any possibility of talks with the PTI government, saying that they intended to go aheadwith public movement to achieve the objective of parliament’s supremacy.

The PPP Chairman, Bilawal Bhutto, who is in Gilgit to lead the protest against alleged rigging in GB elections, and head of Balochistan National Party (Mengal) Sardar Akhtar Mengal participated in the meeting through video.

However, the PML-N Quaid, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, could not come on video link due to his "poor" health. Maryam Nawaz tweeted that Nawaz Sharif would not be able to join meeting due to severe pain in his kidney. “I am going to represent my father in the meeting. Pray for him,” she said.

The 12 points of Charter of Pakistan include Supremacy of the Constitution, Autonomy of the Parliament, Elimination of the role of establishment and intelligence agencies from politics, Establishment of an independent judiciary, Reforms for free, independent and fair elections, Protection of human democratic rights of the people, Protection of rights of the provinces and the 18th Constitutional Amendment, Effective Local Government system, Security of freedom of expression and media, Elimination of extremism and terrorism and implementation of the National Action Plan, Emergency Economic Plan, End to inflation, unemployment and poverty alleviation and Protection of Islamic Provisions of the constitution.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the PDM leaders also decided some principles and objectives as to how to move forward.

The PDM president went on to say that the meeting also expressed concern over the delaying tactics being used in the foreign funding case. “The confessional statement of Shabbar Zaidi is an FIR against the government,” he said.

The meeting observed that according to the statement of Shabbar Zaidi when he presented the list of corrupt people involved in foreign funding case, he was stopped from taking any action.

The meeting also rejected the GB election results on the basis of alleged rigging as Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the PDM leaders observed that engineered polls like the 2018 elections had verified the narrative of the opposition parties.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the PDM also completed its organisational structure while nominating two leaders from each party for slots of vice president and deputy secretary general of the movement. The movement had already named its President, Senior Vice President, Secretary General and Information Secretary.

Those nominated for the position of vice presidents include Qamar Zaman Kaira, Ahsan Iqbal, Haider Khan Hoti, Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and Muhammad Awais Noorani. Prominent among those nominated as deputy secretary generals are Rana Sanaullah Khan, Zahid Khan and Muhammad Akram Khan Durrani.