PDM smells blood, vows to send Imran Khan packing

ISLAMABAD: President of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif on Sunday had a telephonic conversation with Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and announced that the Opposition will start a campaign against the rising inflation in the country.

Sources in the opposition alliance have revealed that during the phone call, Shehbaz Sharif and Maulana Fazlur Rehman agreed to mobilise public through countrywide rallies under a full-fledged anti-government campaign against what they called ‘the worst inflation in Pakistan’s history’.

“Both the politicians agreed that it was time for all the opposition leaders to come out of their homes and join hands to oust Imran Khan-led regime by mobilising people in across the country,” a source said.

Later, Maulana Fazlur Rehman spoke to media while announcing that within the next two weeks, the Opposition will hold countrywide protests against the growing inflation.

“As soon as we are done with the celebrations of the Eid Milad un Nabi (SAWW), we will start a full-fledged campaign against inflation,” he said while speaking to the media after holding an information meeting with party members in Islamabad.

“We appeal to the entire nation to fully participate in the protests and rallies,” he said while giving details of how the government incurred debts and increased inflation in the country.

Taking to its official Twitter account, the PML-N confirmed that Shahbaz and Fazl criticised the government’s policies during the phone call and have decided to launch a full-fledged campaign against “the worst inflation in the country’s history”.

The two leaders agreed to join anti-government protests of other Opposition parties.

During the phone call, Shahbaz told Fazl that leaders need to get out of their homes to “save the nation from inflation, unemployment, and the ongoing economic catastrophe across the country”.

The two leaders confirmed that to protest against the “historic” inflation, there will be demonstrations, rallies, and marches across the country.

‘After increasing inflation, talks with IMF also failed’

Earlier in the day, criticising the PTI-led government, Shahbaz said that with the the country already battling inflation, negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have also failed.

“After the failure of the talks with the IMF, the government should revert the hike in prices,” Shahbaz demanded.

He questioned the government’s monetary policy and said: “Despite accepting all the conditions laid down by the IMF, talks with the body still failed. What sort of a strategy is this?”

He said that the PTI government’s “three years of blind obedience to the IMF” could reap no benefits because the people continued to suffer the whole while.

“The government could achieve nothing.”

Shahbaz said that the government “deceived the masses and also tricked the IMF”.

“This government has been seeing to the economic murder of people for the last three years,” he said in the statement, adding that the government should explain why it had to increase the prices of electricity, gas, petrol, flour, and sugar.

“The government should also let the nation know what talks were held with the IMF,” he said.

Shahbaz said that when the PML-N government, led by Nawaz Sharif, completed the IMF’s programme in 2015, “Imran Niazi continued to criticise him”.

“Imran Niazi used to chant slogans that he would rather commit suicide than going to the IMF,” Shahbaz recalled.

Mian Abrar
The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He tweets as @mian_abrar and also can be reached at [email protected]

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