KARACHI: The second public meeting of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) will be held in Karachi on Sunday (today). The Pakistan People’s Party is holding a public meeting in Bagh-e-Jinnah near the tomb of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
The central leadership of the opposition alliance will address the public meeting. They include JUI-F chairman Maulana Fazlur Rehman, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal, Maulana Shah Owais Noorani, Allama Sajid Mir, Dr Abdul Malik, Iftikhar Hussain, Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini and others. Fazlur Rehman has arrived in the city while PML-N Maryam Nawaz will reach the city today (Sunday).
PPP chairman Najmi Alam said 50,000 seats were placed in Bagh-e-Jinnah for rally participants. Flags of all components of the PDM political parties and welcoming banners for their political leaders were also displayed at the venue. Special arrangements for lighting and sound systems have also been made at the venue. About 1,500 workers from the People’s Party volunteers will regulate traffic movements and ensure that participants pay close attention to anti-coronavirus precautions. The public meeting will start at 16.30. There will be special security arrangements for public gatherings. Different routes have been established for different political party processions to reach the venue. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari together with Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah and Minister of Education and Manpower Sindh Saeed Ghani visited the venue for the public meeting. The PPP chairman received an explanation regarding the arrangement and preparation for the public meeting.
Speaking to reporters on the occasion, the PPP chairman said that the PPP will hold a historic public meeting and October 18 will be an unforgettable day in Pakistan’s history. He said the parliament and judiciary were not free and the PDM had decided to continue their struggle until the restoration of democracy.
Bilawal said that the elected government was unable to run the economy and the country. He said that the PDM’s first public meeting in Gujranwala had sent a clear message that the masses were not willing to let Imran Khan go so easily because he had made people’s lives miserable. He said that the elected prime minister had robbed the people of inflation and shortages of wheat and sugar. He said we were not looking towards ‘Umpire’ but witnessing the plight of people whose mandates were robbed and their fate handed over to “incompetent elected leaders.” He said the federal government rejected Sindh’s supposed share in the NFC Award and refused funding for the Karachi upgrade. Bilawal said the “elected prime minister and his facilitators” would be held accountable for these crimes. Referring to PIDA regulations, he said the federal government was trying to take over the islands of Sindh and Balochistan under construction suits.
Responding to the prime minister’s remarks on the judiciary, Bilawal said the prime minister thought he could run the judiciary like his Tiger Force. The people want justice without discrimination and want to hear the judge’s decision on Aleema Baji and the accountability of K Electric, which is run by the Abraj Group, which is the main sponsor of PTI. He said we wanted indiscriminate action against corruption be it by courts or generals.
The PPP chairman said the chairman of the National Assembly was also part of the puppet regime and he and the prime minister should be sent home. He said by refusing a production order, the speaker turned down Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif, the opportunity to speak at the National Assembly which is his constitutional right.
Meanwhile, Bilawal said his struggle for the restoration of democracy, the supremacy of the constitution and an elected parliament, the protection of the people’s human rights will continue despite the threat of the “elected prime minister”. “It is time to end the self-centered selector game and elect and empower (the people) and elected (people’s representatives) voters to save the country and its people from further calamities,” he said while paying shining tribute to the martyrs of the ‘Massacre. Karsaz ‘when a public demonstration welcoming Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto on his return from exile was bombed which resulted in the death of 180 PPP workers and injuring more than 500 others, 13 years ago in Karachi.
Bilawal said all democratic political parties and their leadership will gather in Karachi today (Sunday) to pay tribute to their highest sacrifice in giving lives for democratic causes during the battle against the dictatorship.
The chairman of the PPP said the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) was an alliance of all democratic political parties that came together to get rid of all crimes linked to the destruction of democracy, economy and foreign policy. He said his party workers embraced martyrdom for the restoration of democracy, the supremacy of the constitution and an elected Parliament, the protection of the basic human rights of the masses. The struggle is still continuing despite the umpteenth sacrifice of victims of terrorist attacks, fake cases, arbitrary arrests and now facing open threats from the elected prime minister, he added.
Earlier, Sindh government spokesman Barrister Murtaza Wahab declared that the Pakistan Democratic Movement rally in Karachi would become a public referendum, saying the 22 crore case of Pakistanis would be fought on the streets.
In a press conference, Wahab said Pakistanis in their right mind would announce their decision against the regime on Sunday (today). Labor and the poor are exploited, unemployment rises in countries and people are crushed by inflation.
PPP Co chairman Asif Ali Zardari is not worried about the cases that happened to him in the past, nor will he be depressed now. The PDM struggle continues for the survival of democracy, he said, adding that Sheikh Rashid’s remarks should not be taken seriously which should pay more attention to railways which have gone from bad to worse in the last two years.
Separately, Saeed Ghani said that the popularity of the People’s Party is on the rise as former legislators from various political parties joined the PPP and the trend will continue. He said that with this trend, the PPP would be further strengthened and the next elected Karachi mayor would be from his party.
He said that the People’s Party would host a bigger public PDM meeting in Karachi (today) than in Gujranwala. He said the PDM’s second public meeting would further disappoint the PTI federal government which had failed to provide assistance to the masses. Ghani said that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday chaired a massive rally from Lalamusa to Gujranwala which proved that PPP is very much alive in Punjab.
On this occasion, the Sindh Information Minister and the Regional Government Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that politicians from other political parties who are members of the People’s Party showed that PPP was very popular among the masses.
PPP Secretary General Sindh Waqar Mehdi said that provincial ministers and PPP parliamentarians in Sindh would not hesitate to resign from their posts in line with a PDM decision whenever the party leadership asked them to do so. But it is likely that the rulers will step down before December this year and the need for resignation has never arisen.