Pakistan oppn alliance holds anti-govt rally

26 October, 2020 12:00 AM printer

QUETTA: The 11-party anti-government Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) alliance on Sunday held its third power show — this time in Quetta — despite Balochistan government’s appeal to postpone the public meeting in view of security threats, reports Dawn.

PDM president Maulana Fazlur Rehman was also in attendance at the rally in Ayub Stadium, along with other political leaders who are part of the alliance.

PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz in her speech said that the time has come to change the fate of Pakistan — and Balochistan.

“No longer will husbands and brothers go missing, people of Balochistan,” she said addressing the attendees.

“The reason you are deprived of food and shelter is that your vote is not respected. Those who rule you are not answerable to you but to someone else, someone else pulls their strings,” she said.

The former premier’s daughter told the crowd that Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, in one of his speeches at Staff College, Quetta, had stated that policymaking is the job of civilians and had instructed serving officers of the state to abide by their oaths.

“Tell me, has Quaid’s instruction been followed?” She lauded a recent Supreme Court judgement that declared the references filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa — who hails from Balochistan — were based on “malafide intentions”.

PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who is in Gilgit-Baltistan for the upcoming elections in the region, addressed the participants via video link. “Will Balochistan’s people always be neglected?” asked the PPP leader. “No matter which province, the people want freedom and a democratic government. They want freedom from poverty and unemployment, to be able to think for themselves and breathe.”

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif addressed the public meeting via video link. “Looking at this enthusiasm, I am sure that no one will be able to violate the vote’s respect now. I saw this enthusiasm in Gujranwala and Karachi, and now I’m seeing it in Quetta,” said the former premier from London. “I am aware of Baloch people’s problems, Nawaz Sharif knows [...] the missing persons issue is still there. I feel pain when I see the victims.”

Like in his previous speeches, Nawaz again strongly criticised the PTI government’s performance and spoke about his disqualification as premier “over a flimsy charge”. The former premier said that he was not liked by some quarters because he was the “elected representative of the people”.

Balochistan National Party President Sardar Akhtar Mengal, while addressing the crowd, said that while the province had always held up democratic ideals, it had gotten little in return. He highlighted the missing persons issue once again, saying that the families have been waiting for their loved ones for 10 years.”