PDM considers challenging govt legislation in court

Alliance spokesperson says anti-govt drive, long march and sit-in on agenda

Our Corresponded November 23, 2021
The PDM meeting in Karachi. SCREENGRAB


In a bid to give tough time to the incumbent regime, the steering committee of the opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) on Monday prepared recommendations to challenge the recently passed bills in the joint sitting of parliament in the Supreme Court and mulled over the date to launch an anti-government movement and long march to Islamabad.

On Wednesday, the government and its allies pulled off a victory against the opposition during a joint sitting of parliament by succeeding in passing the bills that pave the way for holding the next general elections in the country through the use of electronic voting machines and giving around nine million overseas Pakistanis the right to cast their votes in the 2023 polls.

In total, 33 bills were passed in the joint sitting. Apart from the main agenda, five bills were passed through the supplementary one.

Given the political volatility, the passing of over two dozen bills through a majority vote showed the vote of confidence in Prime Minister Imran Khan by the treasury benches when the lawmakers from the National Assembly and Senate sat together for the joint sitting.

On Monday, the meeting of the PDM steering committee was held under the chairmanship of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and was attended by all senior leaders of the component parties.

Talking to media after the meeting, PDM spokesman Hafiz Hamdullah maintained that the opposition alliance met for four hours which held consultation on the nature and format of the anti-government movement and protest.

Read More: PDM leaders demand snap polls to save country

Taking a dig at the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, he said PDM had prepared recommendations to “rid the country of the ailments caused by the incumbent regime”.

Hamdullah said the proposals will be presented before the PDM summit at 3pm on Tuesday (today), adding that all decisions will be taken in light of these recommendations.

He stated that the Lahore public meeting, long march, wheel-jam and shutter-down were also on the PDM agenda.

“The meeting mulled over organising seminars and conferences in all four provinces and a public gathering in Gwadar while a long march can be held in the month of March,” he said.

“[We] will go to the Supreme Court to [challenge] the bills passed in parliament’s joint sitting,” he noted, adding that “sit-in is also one of our options”.

Hamdullah negated the impression that the Peshawar public gathering was a flop show. The Peshawar rally was a part of a series of protests by the PDM, which included demonstrations in Karachi and Quetta earlier this month.


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