Maryam Nawaz to address anti-govt rally on 18 October

By Special Correspondent

In a rare public appearance, on 18 October, Maryam Nawaz, Vice President of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), will address a grand anti-government rally organized here by an alliance established by opposition parties to overthrow Imran Khan’s government.

On 20 September, leaders of 11 major opposition parties proposed the introduction of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and the launch of a three-phase anti-government movement in the context of an action plan beginning with national public meetings, protest demonstrations, and rallies before the decisive long march to Islamabad in January 2021. 

The first anti-government rally is scheduled for 16 October in Gujranwala in the province of Punjab, followed by another rally on 18 October in Karachi, 25 October in Quetta, 22 November in Peshawar, 30 November in Multan, and 13 December in Lahore. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former prime minister, and senior PML(N) leader said that Maryam, daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, would address the rally on October 18. She will answer the rally.

The momentum has now been built against the government and is, in fact, a reflection of people’s annoyance at the current situation in the country, said Abbasi. Abbasi said that Maryam’s presence at the rally would raise people’s trust in the PDM. The schedule announced earlier showed that the first rally would be held in Quetta on October 18. 

The move was made at the behest of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), one of the major opposition parties in the alliance, which commemorates the 18th of October in honor of the victims of the 2007 Karsaz bombing that killed scores of people attending a rally in Karachi to welcome slain Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. She escaped undisturbed in the explosion. 

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 of a resolution containing various demands, including the “end of establishment’s interference in politics, new free and fair elections after the formulation of election reforms with no role of armed forces and intelligence agencies.”  

It will be a rare public appearance by Maryam, 46, in the port city of Karachi which is Pakistan’s biggest city and its financial and business hub. In the country’s political history, Karachi has always remained a center point for the opposition and democratic movements. 

PPP Co-chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the rally being organized under the banner of PDM will be a massive power show and it will be the beginning of the end of the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf: government.

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