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PDM stages power show in lahore, announces long march in january

Chairman Pakistan Democratic Movement and JUI(F) leader, Moulana Fazlur Rehman hass announced that PDM will initiate long march in late January or Early February. He further said that the Opposition will come with resignations in hand. 

The announcement came during a rally at Lahore’s Minar-e-Pakistan on Sunday, hosted by the PML-N.

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif also addressed the crowd via video link and asked who was answerable for the government’s failings.

“He (PM Imran) says I won’t give an NRO. Who is asking you for an NRO? You and Aleema Khan got an NRO from Saqib Nisar yourself,” said Nawaz.

“They say, don’t take names? Tell me, what should we do? Is Imran Khan alone responsible for the predicament the country is in?”

Nawaz said that his “crime is that I speak the truth” and added that he was fighting for the people. He said that his “narrative” was the same as Quaid-i-Azam’s. Nawaz once again lashed out at the armed forces, accusing them of being involved in political matters.

“Stop political engineering factories in agencies,” said the former prime minister.

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz thanked Lahore’s residents for attending the public meeting in overwhelming numbers. Without naming the prime minister, Maryam said that someone had “challenged PDM in Pharoah’s tone” to gather enough people to fill up Minar-i-Pakistan’s grounds, adding that today, participants of the public meeting had filled up adjoining streets as well.

“Thousands could not find space here,” she said.

Maryam also urged the supporters to give a warm welcome to leaders of other provinces that have arrived. She said that Lahore will be the binding force for all provinces.

Lauding the people of Lahore for the welcome they had shown her in the days leading up to the rally, she said that every nook and corner of the city had turned into a jalsa venue in the lead up to today. She said she will never be able to repay the people for the kindnesses shown to her in all her life.

She also requested the men present to respect and take care of and protect the women in attendance.

“I have received word that the media is being told to portray as if the rally failed. I know who is making these calls,” Maryam said, adding: “The people of Lahore have thrown this anti-people government off from the heights of Minar-e-Pakistan.”

The PML-N vice president also mocked Prime Minister Imran Khan, shaking her head in the negative, quoting him as saying: “I won’t give an NRO.”

PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, in his address, recalled that his grandfather Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had founded the party in Punjab. PPP workers in Lahore, Bilawal said, went through torture but continued to support democracy.

He said that the country was suffering because of the “fake, incompetent and illegitimate government”.

“Punjab’s pag (turban) is on the head of the puppet of a puppet. Is this acceptable to Punjab?” he asked, adding that he neither accepted the prime minister nor his chief minister. He insisted that the PDM’s “war is not for power but for the rights” of the people.

The PPP chief said that non-democratic forces termed as the establishment, which he refers to as the selectors, “have been conspiring against you (public) and have been forming governments of their choice”. He said that the incumbent government was brought to power “through the umpire’s signal”.

“Selectors, listen, you will have to listen to the public’s voice, you will have to accept their decision […] the time for dialogue is gone, now there will be a long march,” said a charged Bilawal.

“Stop making phone calls, stop trying to establish contacts. No differences can be created between us, we will reach Islamabad and chase your puppet out. Once he is gone, then there can be dialogue,” said Bilawal.

The JUI-F chief also addressed the crowd and said: “The wounds inflicted by the rigging done by the establishment for this illegal government, the dirty role they played [to sieze] this illegal power are getting deeper.”

Rehman further said that he wanted to “alert and caution the defence forces and their leadership […] to move out of the people’s way and let them reach Islamabad”.

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