Pakistan’s Opposition parties announced on Monday to hold their first anti-government rally on October 16, four weeks after an alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) was setup to launch a campaign to oust the Imran Khan-led government.
On September 20, the leaders of 11 major Opposition parties announced formation of the PDM and launch of 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 announced on Monday to hold their first anti-government rally on October 16,” PDM leader Ahsan Iqbal said.
The Opposition leaders had announced that they would use all political and democratic options, including no-confidence motions and en mass resignations from the 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 “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, release of political prisoners, withdrawal of cases against journalists, implementation of the National Action Plan against terrorism, speeding up of the projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and across-the-board accountability under a new accountability law.”
As per the new schedule unveiled by Iqbal showed that the Gujranwala rally 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 a rally in Lahore on December 13, said Iqbal.
The schedule announced earlier showed that the first rally would be held on Oct 18 in Quetta.
The change was made at the request of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) which commemorates the day 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 Nawaz Sharif for allegedly defaming the state institutions.
Earlier on Monday, a case was filed against Sharif in Lahore.