QUETTA – Defying government’s warning and threat alerts, the Pakista n Democratic Movement (PDM) staged the third show of street power in Quetta on Sunday.
Heavy police contingents were deployed around the stadium where PDM President and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Pakistan Muslim League-N vice president Maryam Nawaz and Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party leader Mahmood Khan Achakzai addressed the participants of the rally. Pakistan Peoples’ Party leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif also addressed the gathering via video link.
In her speech, PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz strongly criticised the PTI government stating that the “sun is about to set” on the current regime. “Soon, this puppet show will come to an end,” she said.
Referring to the Supreme Court’s verdict in the case against Justice Qazi Faez Isa, she said that Prime Minister Imran Khan should resign over historic defeat.
She said that standing in Balochistan she can’t help but remember the contribution of Justice Isa’s father Qazi Muhammad Isa – a prominent politician who was among several leaders to have played an important role in the Pakistan movement.
Maryam said that the SC’s judgment on the case was an answer to those who filed the case.
The PML-N vice president went on to express solidarity with the Baloch students protesting for the restoration of scholarships at the Bahauddin Zakriya University in Lahore. She had earlier met them in Lahore on Friday after they arrived at the provincial capital on foot from Multan on Thursday.
“Sentiments of Pakistanis are hurt after depictions of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) were projected onto government buildings in France,” Maryam said. She asked the people to raise their hands and record their protests against such disrespectful actions.
“I love the people of Balochistan more than the people of Punjab,” she said, speaking of her intentions behind donning a traditional Balochi dress.
PPP leader Bilawal Bhutto while addressing the rally said that his party would not part ways with the opposition alliance, PDM come what may, adding that those who are conspiring against it will only face disappointment in this connection.
“Those who are dreaming of breaking the opposition alliance will never succeed… we are not among those who back down from their stance,” he said while addressing the rally via video link from Gilgit-Baltistan.
He said people of Balochistan despite having abundance of natural resources including gas and gold mines were living in a miserable condition. “People of Balochistan are brave and they know how to get their rights.
“What kind of democracy is this where no one including judiciary, media and people is free.” Bilawal said people all across the country wanted freedom from poverty, unemployment and are demanding to restore the genuine democracy in the country.
About the issue of retired captain Safdar’s arrest, Bilawal said, “I salute Sindh Police who refused to be a Tiger Force of Prime Minister Imran Khan.” He said PM Imran was trying to turn all law enforcement agencies into his tiger force.
The PPP chairman demanded of the PTI-led federal government to make the multi-billion dollar CPEC project inclusive so that people of Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan can also be benefited from it.
Addressing the rally, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazl said after Supreme Court’s verdict in Justice Qazi Faez Isa case, the “fake rulers” have lost all grounds including moral, legal and others to remain in power.
He said people of the all four provinces were empowered through the 18th Constitutional Amendment and now attempts are being made to curtail the autonomy of provinces.
“No one should dare to think that they can curtail the rights of small provinces and occupy their resources. We cannot let anyone to snatch the rights of people.”
The PDM chief said the selected government had brought down the GDP growth rate from 5.6 to 1.5 per cent during its two years in power. “I have always said that the country should not be handed over to these incompetent rulers who have now destroyed its economy,” he maintained.
Today, he said, everyone is aware of the reality that for the survival of the state only strong defence is not enough but stable economy is equally indispensable, said Fazl. He said he held the state intuitions of the country including Armed Forces in high regards.