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Will PDM’s long march topple Imran Khan’s government?

Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said that the alliance has decided on a "long march" towards Islamabad on March 26. Will it topple Imran Khan's government?

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Pakistan Democratic Movement (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.

He also said that the parties have decided to contest the Senate elections together and will not go against each other’s candidates. “Our candidates will be jointly decided,” he said.

The PDM chief said that the movement “rejects” the open ballot method of Senate polls and the constitutional amendment to bring it about. “The Opposition believes in the overall package of election reforms,” he said.

“It seems as if PTI does not believe in its members and the PTI leadership wishes to make such unsavoury people senators that their own members are not willing to vote for them,” Fazlur Rehman remarked.

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.

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.

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

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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