The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) held a rally in Dera Ghazi Khan on Sunday as a protest against record inflation during the PTI government’s tenure.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif along with PDM Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman arrived at the venue on Sunday evening.
Additionally, the rally had Rana Sanaullah, Awais Laghari, Captian retd Safdar Hussain, and other leaders in attendance.
On the other hand, Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s absence was noted from the rally. It is to note that she did not post anything related to the rally on her social media, as well, which hinted at an alleged rift within the PML-N.
Spokesperson Punjab Government Hassan Khawar in this regard claimed that Shehbaz Sharif and niece Maryam were never united and neither will be in future.
At the rally, Shehbaz Sharif while addressing the rally claimed that his presence at the rally doesn’t account for reminding people about the projects that PML-N government had carried out in the region. However, ironically, his speech was based on exactly the same stance, while naming all the projects PML-N governments did in the region.
Shahbaz Sharif went on to state that a large number of people showed up for the PDM rally is a proof that people want Imran Khan government to go home.
He stated that because of inflation, people want to overthrow the incumbent government.
“Petrol and electricity [prices] are falling on people like bombs. People must take to the streets now,” he stated while adding that the prices for sugar, flour, ghee, and medicine were going up under the incumbent government and would further increase if he were allowed to continue.
Similarly, PDM Chief Fazlur Rehman lashed at the government for its economic and foreign policy debacles. He stated that Asia is advancing but no one is ready to build trade with Pakistan.
He added that because of the government, so many people have become jobless.
Fazlur Rehman went on to state that only after Pakistan builds a strong economy, it would be able to form an independent foreign policy.
PML-N’s Marriyum Aurangzeb claimed that the public gathering would prove to be a referendum against “the cruel government.”
She added that it will be a “public referendum against the tyrannical government”. In her statement, Aurangzeb said that the people of Pakistan have understood that “getting rid of Imran sahib is the only way to get rid of inflation”. Preparations for the opposition alliance’s DG Khan rally have been completed, she confirmed.
When asked about the possibility of bringing PPP back into the PDM fold, Rana Sanaullah stated that they did not have time for appeasing anyone, adding that it was the right time to overthrow the government.
It is pertinent to note that the preparations for the rally started on Sunday morning. Organizers hoisted banners, flags of various PDM constituents and placards on major roads in the city.
The rally brings the political battle to home turf for Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar who hails from DG Khan.
On Sunday he said public gatherings and protests would not put the country on the path to progress. “There is no room for anarchy in the country and this is not the time for demonstrating negative politics.”
On the contrary, Punjab CM Usman Buzdar stated that he expected the opposition, especially PDM, to act responsibly.
“Pakistan’s vital interests must be held above everything else,” Buzdar stated.
Spokesman Punjab Government Khawar stated on Sunday evening that the PDM rally had been a failure as it had failed to draw a large crowd, adding that there were fewer people than the chairs arranged at “a small gathering place.”