PDM Multan jalsa

Opp announces nationwide protests on Friday, Sunday

Statesman Report

MULTAN: The Opposition's Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), in a defiant rally in Multan on Monday, announced nationwide protests on Friday and Sunday.

The decision was announced by PDM president Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who said the movement has "severed Imran Khan's link with politics".

He also said that the PDM's next power show, in Lahore on December 13, "will be the last nail in the government's coffin".

The PDM chief said that the Opposition movement will not allow "illegitimate agents to be foisted upon the people".

Having braved arrests, cases and barricades, the PDM opted for an alternate venue at Ghanta Ghar Chowk, which is situated around 1km away from the original Qila Kohna Qasim Bagh Stadium venue, which was sealed by authorities the night before.

The public gathering coincided with PPP's 53rd foundation day.

'Selected govt will have to go'

Asifa Bhutto-Zardari, representing the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), made her PDM debut in the rally, where she delivered a short and brisk speech. In it, she vowed to stand by her brother, party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who was convalescing due to the coronavirus, "every step of the way".

She began her speech by heaping scorn on the "selected" government. "Despite the cruelty and oppression of the selected [government], so many of you have gathered here. This selected [government] will have to go!"

She said those who think the Opposition will be cowed into submission are mistaken.

Asifa said that the people had announced their decision and that they wanted PM Imran Khan to "pack up and leave".

Speaking about her mother, she said Benazir Bhutto had carried on her father's mission — to establish a welfare state — and faced several setbacks.

"[Former] president Asif Zardari introduced the 18th Amendment and BISP [Benazir Income Support Programme] and fought for the people's rights," Asifa said.

She promised PPP workers that she would continue their mission and would not back down.

"They think that we are afraid of arrests. If they arrest our brothers, then they should know that every woman of PPP is ready to take up the struggle," she said.

'COVID-18 Imran

country's most lethal virus'

Maryam Nawaz spoke prior to Asifa's address.

She said that when she entered Multan, the entire city was already transformed into a rally venue. Addressing the government, she said that because the rally venue was sealed, the people of Multan have turned the streets and the neighbourhoods of the city into the jalsa venue. The PML-N vice-president said that when the country faces a threat, then its daughters and mothers come out on the streets to save it.

"Our misfortune is that we have an adversary who is ungracious," Maryam said, in a veiled reference to the prime minister, whom she also referred to as "COVID-18 Imran" — the country's "most lethal virus".

She accused the government of being callous and not informing her timely of her grandmother Begum Shamim Akhtar's passing. Maryam had been at a rally in Peshawar that day and said there were no mobile signals.  &