ISLAMABAD: In a bid to oust the PTI-led government, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Monday has called on the nation for an anti-government long march towards Islamabad on March 23.
Talking to the journalists, the PDM chief said: “People should be ready for staying in Islamabad […] we are not sure till when will the long march last.”
“From the door of the Parliament House to Shahrah-e-Dastoor, we will hold a historic rally. Through this, we will give a safe passage to all lawmakers for reaching the [assembly] safely and casting their vote,” he said.
His statement came after Senator Faisal Javed announced that the PTI’s rally in Islamabad will take place on March 27 and the vote on the no-confidence motion will take place a day after.
Fazl made the announcement after a meeting of Opposition parties which was hosted by Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif.
Fazl said ANP, PPP, and NDM have also been invited to partake in the “march”, hoping that their response would be positive. “Our strategy will be different from last time’s long march (in 2019).”
Prime Minister Imran Khan has also tasked PTI leaders to gather one million people in the federal capital as the government eyes holding the “biggest” rally in Islamabad’s history in the face of the no-trust motion.
‘In-line with people’s exceptions, hopes’
The PDM chief said the Opposition’s no-confidence motion against the prime minister was “in-line” with the expectations and the hopes of the Pakistani people.
Fazl lashed out at the PTI-led government for going against the Opposition’s no-trust move by “warning the lawmakers from going to the Parliament” and opting for “unconstitutional” tactics.
In today’s meeting, Fazl said the NA speaker was bound by the constitution to call a session on voting on the no-confidence motion after the requisition for the session has been submitted.
“If the speaker does not follow this, he is liable to legal action,” Fazl warned, adding that the meeting’s participants also stressed that the session’s first agenda point should be of the no-confidence motion.
The joint Opposition, Fazl said, urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to decide the PTI’s foreign funding case, as the party was “guilty”.
It is pertinent to mention here that on March 8, the Opposition had submitted the no-confidence motion against PM Imran Khan, accusing him of mismanaging the economy and poor governance.
Despite the rising political tensions, the prime minister has time and again claimed that the government’s allies and PTI lawmakers stand by him and would defeat the no-confidence motion.
PM Imran Khan vowed to fight any move to unseat him. “Whatever they do, I’m ready for that,” he had told a gathering in Islamabad.
‘Fazl’s real agenda was against OIC’
In response to the PDM chief’s announcement, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said he had already stated that the Opposition was against the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) session in Islamabad.
“I had already said that Fazlur Rehman’s real agenda was against the OIC conference. They are not able to accept that OIC foreign minister’s meeting will take place here after 15 years,” Chaudhry said.
The information minister warned the Opposition that the government was “well aware” of how to deal with “rioters”.