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Opposition’s long march to be facilitated but no NRO, clarifies government

Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said he would do his best not to put any obstacles in Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)'s way, but the opposition alliance will be sorted out if they take the law into their hands. Will PDM topple PM Khan’s government?

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Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said he would do his best not to put any obstacles in Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)’s way, but the opposition alliance will be sorted out if they take the law into their hands.

PM Imran Khan has also said that “I’m ready for any sort of agreement, but I will never hand out an NRO to the looters”. “I will help the opposition out with organizing their long march anywhere they want, but will not give them the NRO”.

Notably, PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said that the alliance has decided on a “long march” towards Islamabad on March 26. According to sources, the long march will be termed “mehengai march” (March against inflation). The PDM chief addressed a press conference after an important meeting of the PDM.

Analysts are now mulling over if the PDM actually pose a challenge to the incumbent government or not. 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.

Read more: PTI goes to the SC over PML-N foreign funding

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.

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