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Pak’s Opposition to hold 1st major rally against Imran Khan govt on October 16

Pak’s Opposition to hold 1st major rally against Imran Khan govt on October 16
October 06
16:47 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Opposition parties will hold their first combined rally against the Imran Khan-led government on October 16, weeks after launching an alliance to seek the “selected” prime minister’s resignation and an end to the role of the powerful military in the country’s politics.

On September 20, the leaders of 11 major Opposition parties formed the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to launch a three-phased anti-government movement under an action plan starting with countrywide public meetings, protest demonstrations and rallies before a decisive long march towards Islamabad in January 2021.

Pakistan’s Opposition parties have agreed to hold their first anti-government rally on October 16 in Gujranwala city in Punjab province, Ahsan Iqbal said. The Opposition leaders had announced that they would use all political and democratic options, including no-confidence motions and mass resignations from Parliament to seek “the selected prime minister’s resignation and an end to the role of the establishment in politics.”

They also issued a 26-point declaration in the form a resolution containing various demands, including the “end of establishment’s interference in politics, new free and fair elections after formulation of election reforms with no role of armed forces and intelligence agencies.” They also demanded the release of political prisoners, withdrawal of cases against journalists, implementation of the National Action Plan against terrorism, speeding up of the projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and across-the-board accountability under a new accountability law.

The Pakistan Army, which has ruled the country for more than half of its 70 plus years of existence, has hitherto wielded considerable power in the matters of security and foreign policy. The Gujranwala rally on October 16 would be followed by a rally in Karachi on October 18, Quetta on October 25, Peshawar on November 22, Multan on November 30 and then in Lahore on December 13, according to the schedule unveiled by Iqbal.

The schedule announced earlier showed that the first rally would be held on October 18 in Quetta. The change was made at the request of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) which commemorates October 18 to pay homage to victims of Karsaz bombing in 2007 that killed scores of people attending a rally in Karachi to welcome Benazir Bhutto.

The PDM leaders also condemned the registration of an FIR against deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif for allegedly defaming the state institutions. Earlier on Monday, a case was filed against Sharif in Lahore.

Sharif, 70, the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) supremo, has been living in London since November last year after the Lahore High Court granted him permission to go abroad for four weeks for treatment.

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