ISLAMABAD: The anti-government alliance – Pakistan Democratic Movement – as well as other opposition parties have announced a joint public meeting at the Constitution Avenue in Islamabad on March 23 for which the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Awami National Party have also been invited.
A joint meeting of the leaders of the opposition parties was held at the residence of Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on Monday.
PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, former president Asif Ali Zardari, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, opposition party leaders Aimal Wali Khan, Amir Haider Khan Hoti, Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal, Mohsin Dawar, Allama Sajid Mir, Sahibzada Owais Noorani and others were in attendance.
Talking to media persons after the meeting in Islamabad, Maulana Fazl said, “It has been decided in a joint meeting of the leaders of opposition parties that a long march would begin on March 23.”
He directed the party workers from all over the country to turn towards Islamabad.
We will hold a full power show in front of the Parliament House.”
He said that the long march would start from all over the country at the same time, adding that the strategy related to the march would be different from the previous ones. “How long the long march will last will be decided after reaching there.”
On a sterner note, Fazl said, “We are going to do a lot. We are going to make them [incumbent government] regret threatening us.” He vowed a tit-for-tat response.
“The water is over the dam for the government.”
According to a communique issued after the meeting of the opposition parties, detailed discussions were held regarding the overall situation in the country as well as the no-confidence motion and important decisions were finalised.
“I am ready to take decisive steps for the success of the no-confidence motion,” the communique quoted Shehbaz as telling the participants of the meeting.
The leaders of the opposition parties expressed full confidence in the PML-N president, saying that the numbers had been completed, he should go ahead and that they stood with him.
The meeting clarified that in order to save the people of Pakistan from this “oppressive, corrupt, incompetent and incompetent” government, which “plagued the country with historical inflation, poverty, unemployment and economic catastrophe”, the united opposition, following the path of the Constitution, submitted a no-confidence motion.
“This government has compromised Pakistan’s economic sovereignty, endangered national interests and undermined important and critical national interests through successive failures on the foreign policy front.”
It “angered the close and trusted friendly countries and isolated” Pakistan in the world. The issue of Jammu and Kashmir, which was illegally occupied by India, was deeply hurt and failed miserably in defending the aspirations and interests of Kashmiris and Pakistanis, it added.
The leaders said that the no-confidence motion tabled by the opposition against the PM was a manifestation of the aspirations of the 220 million. Instead of confronting this constitutional step in the constitutional, legal, parliamentary and democratic spheres, the “incompetent” PM and his government have resorted to unconstitutionality and disorder.
“Members of the National Assembly are being publicly threatened with being barred from entering the House.” The government has announced that it would hold a rally at D-Chowk as a ploy to “intimidate, threaten and coerce” the opposition. The united opposition made it clear that the government should not take the path of chaos, anarchy and confrontation.
They pointed out that under the Constitution, MNAs have the basic duty and right to perform their constitutional, democratic and parliamentary duties freely. “No restrictions can be placed on their movement, nor can they be barred from voting.” Depriving them of these responsibilities “is tantamount to sabotaging the Constitution of Pakistan, the punishment of which is clearly stated in Article 6 of the Constitution”, they said.
The PDM chief and opposition leader invited the PPP and the ANP to attend a public meeting on March 23 as per the schedule.
The meeting stated that full solidarity with parliament, Constitution and democracy would be expressed through a historic meeting on the Constitution Avenue. “If any unfortunate situation arises on the occasion of this meeting of the opposition due to fascist, dictatorial and unconstitutional government measures, then the PM and his government will be responsible,” they warned.
The meeting strongly condemned the government’s statement on the MNAs passing and coming through the mob they would assemble, calling it a direct threat to the MNAs. “Not only is the incompetent PM threatening to shoot political opponents and the national leaders of the country’s main political parties at crowded gatherings, but his ministers have become suicide bombers and are announcing attacks on political opponents,” they maintained.
“This attitude is a vicious conspiracy to spread anarchy and civil war in the country, which deserves the strongest condemnation. God willing, if any leader or party member is harmed then the culprit will be incompetent PM, federal ministers and this government,” they stressed.
The PDM and PPP leadership said such announcements prove that the government had already accepted defeat and could not present 172 members on voting day. Therefore, “it wants to stop the MNAs through illegal force of the police and other agencies”. “We make it clear that the government is becoming a criminal under Article 6.”
The meeting warned that the Constitution of Pakistan obliges the speaker to convene the meeting within a specified and specific period. It is the constitutional duty of the speaker to convene a meeting of the National Assembly within 14 days after the recusal and to hold a vote of no-confidence in the House within seven days. The meeting warned that the first agenda item in the National Assembly session convened under Rule 37 of the Parliamentary Rules is to introduce the no-confidence motion. “If the speaker deviates from it, it will be a clear violation of the Constitution and Rules,” the meeting stated.
The opposition demanded that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) give an immediate verdict in the foreign funding case in which “Imran Khan Niazi and his party have been found guilty by a certified SBP record”. It’s been seven years already. Therefore, while fulfilling the requirements of law and justice, a decision should be issued on the hearing of this case on March 15, 2022.