‘What kind of justice is this?’: PDM to go ahead with ECP protest

Rasheed gives free hand to PDM to rally in Red Zone

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is the central character in the foreign funding case, which he termed as the “biggest scandal in Pakistan’s political history”.

Fazl made these remarks after a meeting of the steering committee for the 11-party anti-government alliance, ahead of the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) march to the federal capital where it plans to hold a sit-in outside the office of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the delays in the aforementioned case.

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“The PDM leadership will enthusiastically stage a protest demonstration in front of the Election Commission regarding the foreign funding case,” he said.

The PDM president accused the premier of having used the illegally obtained money for election rigging and said that PM Imran took “the mother of NROs” to create political instability in Pakistan and “used funds collected in the name of charity for personal business and spreading chaos, illegally and through secret accounts”.

“We will demand the ECP to immediately give a decision on the crime which has been accepted,” he said, noting that the case had been filed in 2014 by a founding member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Akbar S Babar.

He said that the constant delays were giving rise to even more doubts and suspicions. He further said that in the case of former premier Nawaz Sharif, the decision had been reached in only six months, while this case has been pending for six years.

“What kind of justice is this?” he asked.

The PDM chief appealed to Pakistanis to participate in the protest for the sake of “national security” and against “obtaining funds from anti-Pakistan lobbies”.

While accusing the incumbent government of having sold away the disputed territory, he said that on Kashmir Day, the PDM will hold a rally in Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh where Kashmir’s political parties have also been invited.

He said that rallies will also be in held in Hyderabad on Feb 9, in Sialkot on Feb 13, in Balochistan’s Pishin on Feb 16, in Sardogha on Feb 23, in Khuzdar on Feb 27. Following the scheduled public meetings, the PDM will take a decision about staging a long march to Islamabad, Fazl added.

Earlier on Monday, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz said that the PDM was trapped in their own disagreements due to their own self-interest.

In a tweet, the minister said that failure, disgrace and defeat were the fate of the opposition alliance.

He said that defeated elements were meeting again today to devise a strategy to save their politics and wealth.

Similarly, Special Assistant to the Punjab Chief Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Monday said that the anti-government drive has ended midway. She termed PDM members as hypocrites who are acting against each other.

The nation has buried the PDM’s narrative based on anarchy and destroyed the negative politics of this corrupt group, she stressed.

Separately, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said that the government has decided to give a free hand to the opposition parties to organise a rally in the Red Zone, however, nobody will be allowed to take law into hands.

Talking to the media on Monday, the interior minister said that no container or hurdle will be created in the way of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to stage a demonstration in front of the ECP. He said that ECP is a constitutional body and it is expected that the opposition will respect its sanctity.

He said the PDM should know that the Supreme Court (SC), the Parliament House and other institutions are situated on the Constitution Avenue and the government has taken all necessary security measures for their protection. The minister said that for the first time, PDM has been allowed to organise its rally in the Red Zone and the law enforcement agencies will watch whether any seminary student is participating in the opposition parties’ rally.

He said that the law will take its course if anybody attempts to take law into hands.

Answering a question, Rasheed said that action will be taken if any baton or uniform clad group like Anasar-ul-Islam participates in the opposition’s rally.

To another question, the minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party has submitted a record of 40,000 transactions to the ECP, but the opposition is unable to produce a record of just 4,000 people from whom it has received foreign funding.

Earlier, the prime minister said that the opposition’s alliance would be allowed to hold their protest. He, however, warned the PDM and said that the law would come into action if the 11-party alliance attempted to move against it.

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