As the January 31 deadline set by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) for Prime Minister Imran Khan to quit passed without any signs of the government retreating, PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Sunday called upon the joint opposition to “force the removal of puppets”.
The people face historic, poverty, unemployment & inflation because this govt was forced on them. The joint opposition must now force the removal of puppets. PPP believes in relying on democratic tactics. Sustained joint efforts inside & outside parliament will ultimately succeed
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) January 31, 2021
“The selected PM has failed to resign by the deadline set by PDM,” Bilawal said in a series of tweets, adding that the opposition alliance had given “this illegitimate regime the opportunity to step aside respectfully and allow for a transition to democracy with free, fair and transparent elections”.
He said the Pakistani people faced historic poverty, unemployment and inflation because the incumbent government had been “forced on them”. “The joint opposition must now force the removal of puppets,” he wrote, emphasizing that the PPP believed in relying on democratic tactics and that sustained joint efforts inside and outside the parliament would “ultimately succeed” in sending the government home.
Bilawal said the plan of staging a long-march against the government and moving a no-trust motion against Prime Minister Imran will “hopefully be discussed” in the next PDM meeting.
In a reference to the government’s plan of introducing a constitutional amendment for open ballot in the upcoming Senate polls, the PPP chairman said the government’s “desperation” was clear as it was “trying to change rules to rig Senate elections because they can see their defeat”.
It is important to note that Maulana Fazlur Rehman had announced to stage a long march against the government. “In case the government does not step down, the date of the long march will be announced on Feb 1. We ask the people of Pakistan to start preparations for the long march from today,” PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had told a presser after presiding over the meeting.
Is PDM a threat to PTI’s government?
In a program, Think Tank, prominent analyst Ayaz Amir has said that the PDM is no longer a serious threat to the government. “They [PDM] do not understand a few things. For example, PDM is not focusing on the common Pakistanis’ issues like inflation and sugar crisis,” he said.
Professor Hassan Askari Rizvi also agreed with Amir and maintained that “PDM should know that the governments cannot be toppled like this”. Prof. Rizvi also noted that the PDM has never been clear about its agenda. “Earlier they attacked Army and the Judiciary, now ECP is being targeted,” he explained.
Senior journalist and Dawn’s resident Editor, Fahd Husain, also said that the PDM leadership is now convinced that there can be nothing of their choice. “They are now clear about their future that there is going to happen nothing until 2023,” he said.
پی ڈی ایم کے تمام معاملات ختم ہوگئے ہیں
مجھے لگتا ہے کہ پی ڈی ایم کو اندازہ ہوگیا ہے کہ 2023تک کچھ نہیں ہونا، فہد حسین@MalickViews @Fahdhusain #NAB #imrankhanPTI #NawazSharifMNS #MaryamNawaz @PTIofficial @pmln_org @SajjadBhatti#PTIGovernment @humnewspakistan pic.twitter.com/ZeJTjmibVt
— Breaking Point with Malick (@BPTWithMalick) January 29, 2021
Notably, on the eve of November 30, Muhammad Malick, a prominent Pakistani journalist, revealed that “the top army brass is under no internal pressure to create space for opposition parties”. While speaking to Nasim Zehra on channel 24, Malick maintained that the narrative projected by Nawaz Sharif and Maulana Fazalur Rehman won’t be of any use in the long run. “To be fair, this narrative can create some excitement but it is not sustainable,” he said.
PDM has been seen carrying an anti-establishment narrative since its creations. Nawaz Sharif named the Army Chief and DG ISI for political engineering in the country. “General Bajwa is responsible for installing incompetent Imran Khan,” he said while addressing PDM rally from London.
The narrative seems to have failed, and the PDM is apparently now looking for face-saving. The movement has also announced to contest the Senate Elections, and by-polls being held anywhere in the country.