PDM Quetta Jalsa, opposition leaders lash out at government

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PDM Quetta Jalsa, opposition leaders lash out at government

Staff Reporter :

Leaders of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) have lashed out at the Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf (PTI) led government and vowed to intensify the protest movement. The 11-party anti-government alliance held its third power show in Quetta to mount pressure on the government.

“Now the time has come to change the fate of the country”, Maryam Nawaz, the Vice President PMLN told the flags-waving and emotionally charged PDM workers. The Stadium jam-packed with the workers of the component parties of the anti-government alliance. “We will restore the sanctity of the vote”, she said.

President of PDM, Maulana Fazal ur Rehman in his storm speech warned of intensifying the ongoing agitation. “We will not leave this illegitimate government”, Maulana Fazal said.

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressed the PDM meeting through a video link from Gilgit Biltistan. He clarified that his party was part of the movement and will not leave it.  “In the form of 18th Amendment, restored democracy […] We fulfilled Balochistan’s demand for provincial autonomy in the form of 18th Amendment,” Bilawal told the crowd. Aghaaz-i-Huqooq-i-Balochistan package, Bilawal said, was a beginning for all provinces to end their problems by taking governance into their own hands. The package included constitutional amendments, political reconciliation, NFC award, royalties for provincial resources among others, he said and regretted that it was not being implemented.

Chairman Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP), Mehmood Khan Achakzai reiterated that Pakistan is a federation and all nationalities stand for their equal rights. He said there should be no political role of intelligence agencies and vowed to struggle for a democratic Pakistan in his speech.

Balochistan National Party (BNP) chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal in his address to the public meeting lashed out at the federal government for what he called its colonial approach towards Balochistan. People of Balochistan have rendered great sacrifices for democracy and rule of law in the country, Sardar Mengal said. He however said in return people of Balochistan did not get their due share in democratic governments.

Dr. Malik Baloch, the Chief of National Party (NP) accused the federal government of snatching islands from Balochistan. He warned that the Baloch masses would protest against this move of the federal government.

The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)‘s third power show in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province is underway as the government suspended mobile service amid security threats. Liaquat Shahwani, the Spokesman government of Balochistan said the mobile service suspended following a threat-alert issued by the National Counter -Terrorism Authority (NACTA). “Obviously security is the responsibility of the government”, Maryam Nawaz, the Vice President PML N told reporters.

The anti-government alliance held its public meetings in Gujranwala and Karachi earlier.

Pakistan Muslim League N leader Maryam Nawaz, PDM Chief Maulana Fazal ur Rehman, Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) Chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Balochistan National Party (Mengal) Chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Syed Yousaf Raza Gailani, and other leaders are on the stage. “This power show will prove to be the last nail in the coffin of rulers”, Maulana Fazal ur Rehman said.

Quetta power show is likely to be huge since all mainstream Baloch and Pashtoon nationalist parties are part of the PDM. Out of a total of 11 component parties of PDM, three parties including BNP M, PKMAP, National Party (NP) are from Balochistan.

Similarly, the Jamiat ul Ulema e Islam (F) has also a stronghold in Balochistan and is the largest opposition parliamentary group in the assembly. “Balochistan will dominate the anti-government movement”, Jan Muhammad Buledi, the Central Secretary General NP told Quetta Voice.

Achakzai, Mengal to address the rally 

Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Sardar Akhtar Mengal, Dr. Malik Baloch will address the PDM Quetta public meeting at the Ayub Stadium. Sardar Mengal visited the venue of the public meeting and met with party workers regarding the public meeting. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders Syed Yousaf Raza Gailani and Raja Pervez Ashraf have also arrived in Quetta.

The Balochistan government has tightened security in and around Quetta city on the eve of the opposition power show. Liaquat Shahwani, the Spokesman Balochistan government said over 4,000 security personnel deployed to provide security to the opposition public meeting. Mr. Shahwani has requested the anti-government alliance to cancel its power show in Quetta owing to security threats.

The National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) had issued a threat-alert in Quetta and Peshawar.

Quetta famous for political gatherings

Quetta is famous for public meetings. In the 1970s, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Khan Abdul Wali Khan addressed mammoth public meetings in Quetta. Then in the 1990s former prime ministers, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif also addressed huge crowds in Quetta. In 2008, Prime Minister Imran Khan had also addressed public meetings against the then military ruler General (R) Pervez Musharraf in 2008.

PDM Quetta Jalsa, opposition leaders lash out at government

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