LAHORE: Terming resignations from parliament as necessary for the success of the long march, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) head Maulana Fazlur Rehman said here Monday that the matter pertaining to resignations from assemblies would be on top of the agenda in the meeting of the PDM’s component parties’ leaders today (Tuesday).
“In my personal opinion the long march without resignations would not bear the desired results,” he said while talking to media persons after a function. A number of political workers including former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate for PK-66 Al-Haj Saifullah and others announced joining the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) during the function.
The Maulana said the PDM will continue the process of deliberations on every issue mainly the long march to be staged to the federal capital in a bid to force the government to resign. He added that the opposition parties would take the decision about the timing of the long march.
“It would be discussed and decided whether to continue the long march until Ramazan or conclude it before the start of the holy month,” he said. “It is obvious that the long march won’t last for just one day. Nothing, not even coronavirus, would stop our way,” he declared. He did not disclose the final destination of the long march. “It would remain a secret for now at least as to where the long march would be headed. However, we are committed to launching it from March 26 and convoys from across the country would start marching on the given date,” he announced.
The Maulana added that the venue for the long march cannot be disclosed. “D-Chowk or any other place, the venue would be decided and announced later,” he maintained. About the recent election of the chairman and deputy chairman Senate, the PDM head said that the establishment played a massive role in these polls. He said the establishment’s intervention had been clearly visible since 2018. “The entire nation is witness to the blatant interference in politics by certain influential quarters,” he alleged.
The PDM chief also pointed fingers at the eligibility of the deputy chairman of the Senate, Mirza Muhammad Afridi, as he was a defaulter. “I can’t understand how a defaulter of Rs2 billion was allowed to contest election for deputy chairman Senate,” he argued.
He said the PDM meeting would also discuss why their party candidate for deputy chairman got fewer votes in the Senate election. “However, in the past, too, a number of parliamentarians committed mistakes in casting their ballots. Therefore, some individual acts of certain people cannot be termed as the policy of a specific party,” he said.
The Maulana said the opposition parties were united and together and would continue the struggle against the present government until its ouster. Regarding the reported threats to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice-President Maryam Nawaz, the Maulana said that it was a matter of grave concern.
“On the one hand life threats are given to Maryam Nawaz and on the other the so-called National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has decided to move the high court against her bail,” he pointed out.
The PDM chief said the grounds given by NAB for moving the court against Maryam Nawaz’s bail was strange as it says that she speaks against national institutions.
“The NAB should clarify its position whether it is an accountability institution or a spokesman for other institutions,” the Maulana asked.
The PDM chief came down hard on the PTI government for its policies. He said the prices of items of daily use have increased beyond the buying capacity of the common man during the past two years. Life of the common people has become miserable, he said.
In such a situation, he said, everyone has to come out and play a role in ridding the country of the incapable and corrupt rulers. “It has become the national obligation of everyone to make efforts for saving the country from this gang of incompetent elements,” he maintained.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said when the court will announce its verdict on the issue of rejection of seven valid votes in the Senate chairman election, the people of Pakistan would know that the PDM not only defeated the current government in the National Assembly but in the Senate as well.
Talking to media persons in Sukkur and Hyderabad, Bilawal accused the presiding officer of bias in the election of chairman Senate.
Bilawal said the PDM had won a clear victory in the by-elections and the PDM candidate also won the election of chairman Senate. He said the PDM candidate got 49 votes and the government candidate got 48 votes, but the presiding officer cancelled the correct vote.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that if the court comes to a decision then everyone will know that the government was also defeated in the Senate. The PPP chairman said that the party will have a summit today (Tuesday) in which it will decide the next course of action.
Meanwhile, the PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz has announced that she will not leave the country until this government goes home. “If you think that you will scare Maryam Nawaz with threats of jail and revocation of bail, then it will never happen,” she said while talking to media outside Jati Umrah before leaving for Islamabad.
She further said that if Prime Minister Imran Khan didn’t reach his logical conclusion and until then, even if the government presents her passport and ticket in a tray, she will not go abroad. She said without committing any crime she has been sent to jail twice and will not hesitate to go to jail for the third time again.
Maryam said when she announced that she was not going anywhere the NAB issued a press release cancelling her hearing and said she will be called again. Terming NAB a tool of the government to take political revenge, she said whenever the anti-graft body called her she went there to expose them.
She said the NAB has lied in the LHC that she was not cooperating in the investigation. “What do you mean by this. You kept me in detention for three months on the pretext of investigation and what you interrogated from me? NAB officials used to come to me every day and ask me which books she was reading and who takes party decisions,” she said, adding that till date they have not been able to make a reference against her. She said the NAB called her in Chaudhry Sugar Mills case and the truth was that so far this was an under investigation case and no reference was made about this case so far.
Maryam said Javed Latif’s statement was distorted and she has no doubt about his patriotism. She said the people of Sheikhupura repeatedly elected him and sent him to the National Assembly and expressed confidence in him. “Remember that if you retaliate against the PML-N again and again, you will be the victim of it, the PML-N will not remain silent,” she warned.
Maryam said Imran Khan has threatened his own members of the National Assembly, locked them in a container and forcibly took a vote of confidence from them at gunpoint. “You could not do this in the Senate so you installed secret cameras,” she alleged, adding that the government was running on secret things, which were popping out in front of the nation one by one. To a question that if she was arrested then who will run the party affairs, she said if they arrested her then Nawaz Sharif will personally lead the party from abroad.