PDM determined to rid Pak of illegitimate Imran Khan govt: Fazl

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Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman

Islamabad [Pakistan], January 2 (ANI): Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said on Friday that the opposition's movement would no longer be directed only at the Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government but also "his backers".

The opposition alliance chief said that rifts within the PDM are a campaign run by the media and added that the PDM is more determined to rid the country of Imran Khan and his illegitimate government.

Dawn reported that the opposition after a meeting of the PDM leaders in Raiwind, Rehman said it was decided after detailed discussions that the opposition will participate in the upcoming by-elections but there had been no decision on contesting in the Senate elections.

"In principle, we are not opposed to the elections of any institution but there is some time until [Senate polls]," he said, adding that the final decision will be taken in future PDM meetings while keeping in view the prevailing conditions, as quoted by Dawn.

"PDM has come out stronger than before and is more determined than before to rid the nation of this illegitimate government," said the PDM chief and added that all PDM constituent parties had reported to the meeting today that the resignations of "all" opposition lawmakers had reached their party leaderships, in accordance with the Dec 31 date given for this purpose by the alliance, as reported by Dawn.

"So one of the targets has been achieved today," he said, reiterating that the government had one month to resign.

Rehman said if the premier refused to step down by January 31, the PDM leadership will announce the long march to Islamabad and decide its date.

"It will also decide whether the long march should be staged towards Islamabad or to Rawalpindi," Rehman added. Rawalpindi is a metonym for the headquarters of the Pakistan Army.

"We agree that the establishment has held the entire system hostage by turning Pakistan into a deep state. Imran Khan is a pawn [and] the people who did rigging and imposed him upon the nation, we want to make it clear [to them that] we blame the establishment and army leadership for this," the PDM chief said.

He continued: "The direction of our criticism will now be manifestly aimed at them (establishment). Now it is for them to decide whether they will further sink their claws on Pakistan's politics or retreat and move towards their constitutional responsibilities."

The PDM chief said that the alliance considered the army "as our army" and it respected all generals. "But when this defence power interferes in politics forgoing its professional duties, it creates confusions".

"All parties are unanimous that the movement's direction should not be turned only towards the pawn but also against his backers," he said further.

He announced that the alliance would stage a demonstration in front of the Election Commission of Pakistan offices in Islamabad on January 19, while a similar protest was being planned to be held in front of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) headquarters as well.

According to Dawn, Rehman said that all opposition members summoned by NAB had appeared before it but said that "it has been proven that this is not accountability but revenge".

PDM has demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan till January 31 and in case of denial for this demand, the front has announced a rally against the government. (ANI)