Soon after the power show of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore vowing to sent the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government packing, Prime Minister Imran Khan once again firmly reiterated his stance that there will be no NRO from his government no matter what the tactics are devised by the alliance of 11 opposition parties.
“Pathetic. PDM spent so much money, time, effort & displayed utter callousness by endangering ppl’s [people] lives during COVID19 spike – showing the scant regard they have for citizens’ safety & well-being,” the premier wrote on his official Twitter handle on Sunday.
He termed the efforts of the opposition to “blackmail” him into giving them an NRO to save their looted wealth.
Pathetic. PDM spent so much money, time, effort & displayed utter callousness by endangering ppl’s lives during COVID19 spike – showing the scant regard they have for citizens’ safety & well-being. All this just to blackmail me into giving them an NRO to save their looted wealth.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) December 13, 2020
The Lahore political gathering was addressed by the usual bigwigs of the PDM – its convener and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam–Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari – besides being addressed by leaders of the opposition parties that are a part of the alliance.
In another tweet, the prime minister wrote: “Let me once again reiterate: I will never give an NRO. Whatever future plans of further blackmail PDM may have, my message is categorical: There will never be an NRO from my govt no matter what tactics the looters devise.”
Let me once again reiterate: I will never give an NRO. Whatever future plans of further blackmail PDM may have, my message is categorical: There will never be an NRO from my govt no matter what tactics the looters devise.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) December 13, 2020
The Lahore rally was organised despite the PDM leaders being issued security threat alerts as well as requested by the authorities to not hold public gatherings as the second Covid-19 wave intensifies.
Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, while addressing the PDM rally via video-link from London, claimed credit for making the country the 7th atomic power and resolving its chronic energy crisis.
“When I came into power in 2013, we ended gas, electricity load shedding and rooted out terrorism from the country.”
Sharif said PM Imran’s cronies are minting money out of wheat and sugar crisis. “My only crime is that I speak truth… I am fighting your case,” he said while addressing the crowd.
لائیو: پاکستان ڈیموکریٹک موومنٹ کا لاہور میں جلسہ عام https://t.co/MvsgOjYBQ4
— Pakistan Democratic Movement (@OfficialPDM) December 13, 2020
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, while addressing the rally, cautioned that growing resentment and anger of the people against the “illegitimate government” can lead to anarchy in the country.
He urged the ‘establishment’ to stop meddling into the political affairs of the country and let the people choose their leaders to govern the country.
“If people’s rights are continued to be abrogated then the national unity cannot remain intact,” he warned.
“Imran Khan’s government has weakened the country so much that we could not even protect Kashmir,” he lamented.
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the PTI government is not cognisant of the difficulties being faced by masses “because it did not come into power through people’s mandate”.
He said Imran Khan became the prime minister with the help of “selectors”.
“People of Lahore endured oppression, flogging but did not bow to tyranny during the dark days of Ziaul Haq’s military rule.”
“I am eternally grateful to the people of Lahore for voting with their feet today,” PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz said while addressing the PDM rally.
“Lahorites have buried the [government] which came into power on fake promise of change at Minar-e-Pakistan today,” she said.
BNP-M chief Akhtar Mengal, who recently quit alliance with the PTI-led government, said that today’s gathering is not just a jalsa (rally) but “funeral of all those undemocratic forces that disrespect Constitution and steal people’s mandate”.
Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) leader Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao appreciated the political supporters and activists for attending the anti-government gathering in “huge numbers” despite all hurdles.
He said the government’s strong-arm tactics cannot stop people from attending PDM rallies. “We cannot accept the government which was formed through rigged elections and we want all institutions to work within their constitutional limits.”
PDM rally in Lahore
BNP-M head Akhtar Mengal is addressing the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s rally at Lahore’s Greater Iqbal Park. #PMLN Vice President Maryam Nawaz, #PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and #JUIF chief Fazlur Rehman as well as other leaders of the 11-party alliance are at the venue. The jalsa at Minar-i-Pakistan will bring the ‘first phase’ of the PDM’s anti-government campaign to a close, with the alliance expected to announce decisions regarding the second phase of the campaign that will resume in January. More: https://tribune.com.pk/story/2275772/1
Posted by Express Tribune on Sunday, December 13, 2020
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar warned the opposition of necessary action being taken if laws were violated.
On December 8, the PDM had announced that all parliamentarians belonging to its constituent parties would submit their resignations from the national and provincial assemblies to their respective party chiefs by December 31 – finally opting for a last-ditch attempt to send the PTI-led government packing.
The announcement was made at a news conference by the JUI-F chief at a news conference in Islamabad, where he was accompanied by Bilawal and Maryam, after the leadership of the alliance held a meeting to agree on the opposition’s future course of action.
“Opposition lawmakers from the national and provincial assemblies will submit their resignations to their party heads by December 31,”the Maulana said, ruling out any possibility of engaging in a dialogue with the PTI government.
However, while some do see the opposition’s resignations as a somewhat successful pressure tactic, many political analysts and experts claim the move could backfire.
(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)