ISLAMABAD: The opposition parties, after hours of discussion at the All Party Conference (APC), have demanded the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan, which is stated in a 26-point resolution passed by the multiparty conference.
The forum is named Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), and terms itself as an “alliance structure which will lead and guide nationwide protests against the anti-public and anti-nation government in a disciplined and integrated manner”.
At a press conference held after multiparty conference late on Sunday evening, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman read out the resolution, which stated that the incumbent government has been granted “fake stability by the same establishment” that rigged the elections to bring these rulers to power. It further expressed “extreme concern” over the increasing interference of the establishment in internal affairs of the country, calling them a “danger to the nation’s stability and institutions”.
The forum called for transparent elections and reforms in the electoral policies to ensure fairness.
PDM presented a six-point action plan to remove the incumbent government. The plan is to be implemented in phases, and the first phase starts in October, wherein opposition parties will hold joint rallies in all four provinces.
The second phase, in December, involves the opposition holding “huge public demonstrations” across Pakistan. In January next year, the opposition will set out on a “decisive long march” towards Islamabad.
According to the statement, the opposition will use “every legal and constitutional option in and out of parliament, which include moving no-confidence motions and collective resignations from assemblies at an appropriate time”. Furthermore, the PDM plans to enlist lawyers, traders, farmers, students, media as well as members of the civil society in its movement.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said during the conference that all the options presented in PDM’s action plan and resolution are constitutional and legal, including protests and demands for resignation.
Answering a question regarding rumours that some members of the opposition voted in favour of the government to ensure the passage of Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-related bills last week, Bilawal said that votes fell short because some lawmakers could not attend the session due to different reasons. He assured that the opposition parties were on the same page and had demanded a vote recount. He said that the passage of laws during the joint session of the Parliament was made possible through “rigging”.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif, in his statement at the press conference, said that the incumbent government’s survival is a “threat to Pakistan’s existence”.
Earlier, Fazl protested that his speech had been “censored”. “The government stops our voice from reaching the public as it is, but today the APC also prevented our speech from airing,” the JUI-F chief complained.
At this, PPP’s Bilawal said that it was “at the request of one of your MPAs that we kept an in-camera session”. “We will have a press conference after this,” Bilawal added, in an attempt to soothe his outrage.
PPP’s Sherry Rehman interjected to say that the party was told that the JUI-F had requested an in-camera address, which the party chief denied. “We did not request such a thing,” he said.
Later, PPP’s Qamar Zaman Kaira said that Fazl’s address was broadcast on social media. He said that they had informed the JUI-F chief that electronic media was to tap into the social media stream to broadcast it on television.