Supporters of Pakistan’s opposition party gathered at a stadium in the city of Gujwanwala yesterday to start a nationwide protest campaign to topple Prime Minister Imran Khan, whom they accuse the military of “rigged” in the 2018 “rigged” elections.
Nine major opposition parties formed a joint platform called the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) last month to initiate national agitation against the government.
Khan, who rules on an anti-corruption platform and denies that the army helped him win, said yesterday he was not afraid of the opposition campaign, which he said was aimed at blackmailing him into ending corruption cases against their leaders.
“We are out for the rule of law,” said Maryam Nawaz, daughter and political heir to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, speaking from the top of an SUV showered with rose petals as she left for Gujwanwala from nearby Lahore. “Our fight is against injustice, unemployment and price increases all the time.”
Pakistan Muslim League Sharif – Nawaz (PML-N) is the main opposition party.
Sharif, a longtime critic of the military, was fired by the Supreme Court in 2017 on corruption charges and went to London last November for medical treatment.
He blamed the generals and judges for what he said were false accusations.
Pakistan’s powerful military has repeatedly denied meddling in politics.
The protest campaign was launched at a time when Pakistan was experiencing an economic crisis, with inflation touching double digits and growth negative.
The next general election is scheduled for 2023.
“Come on, Imran go. Your time is up! ”Shouted tens of thousands of opposition supporters gathered at the Gujwanwala stadium hours before the leader arrived.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, son of slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who heads the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), and a religious leader, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, led separate rallies to join the main gathering.
“It is time for the ‘puppet’ government to leave,” Bilawal said.
to request modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]