PDM to use ‘audio leak’ stick to beat govt with

Fazl says key decisions to be announced on December 6 when alliance meets again

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


The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – an alliance of opposition parties -- on Tuesday decided that it would intensify its anti-government protest movement, particularly over the recent alleged audio leak of former top judge Saqib Nisar, who could be heard in a conversation with an unknown individual about PML-N leaders Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz's trial.

“The judiciary's integrity has come into question after recent allegations from within,” JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who also heads the alliance, told the media, while referring to the alleged audio leak and the recent affidavit submitted by former Gilgit-Baltistan chief judge Rana Shamim.

Speaking alongside other PDM leaders after a meeting of the alliance in Islamabad, Fazl said the conspiracies hatched against former premier Nawaz Sharif, his party and the leaders of other political parties were in fact targeting the country and its democracy as well. “We respect the courts, but are also hurt. With a heavy heart, we think that they [judges] will have to regain their status through their character.”

Speaking about the PDM meeting, Fazl said the alliance would hold its next gathering on December 6 where "final and important decisions” would be made.

Leaders of all the constituent parties and their representatives attended the meeting, presided over by the PDM chief. Some leaders participated through video link.

Fazl told the media that unconstitutional laws were passed in the recent joint sitting of parliament and the PDM rejected them.

He claimed that overseas Pakistanis had been given the right to vote in an awkward manner.
“We will play a role in guaranteeing that overseas Pakistanis have an honourable representation in parliament."

The PDM chief also said according to the Constitution, the powers of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) could not be restricted. "It is totally unacceptable to clip the ECP's wings.”

Speaking on the law related to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the next general elections, he said the PDM rejected “this pre-poll rigging”.

Fazl further maintained that the PTI-led government had turned the State Bank of Pakistan into "branch of the IMF [International Monetary Fund"].

The JUI-F chief also criticised the “fake” government for promising one 10 million jobs to the people, but instead “stealing over five million” from them so far.

Also read: PDM considers challenging govt legislation in court

On the long march and resignations from assemblies, Fazl said the opposition parties would seek the opinions on the matter from their respective working committees.

“The decisions will be announced on December 6,” he added.
During the meeting, sources said the participants discussed the alleged audio leak in detail and decided there would be no compromise over the matter.

In the audio clip, former CJP Nisar is purportedly telling another person that Nawaz and Maryam would have to be punished to make space for Imran Khan in politics.

The sources said the opposition leaders had decided to raise the issue of the audio leak on a national level.

The former CJP has described the audio clip as “fabricated” and refused to accept that it was his voice.

The sources said that the participants were also unable to agree on the date of the long march and resignations from the assemblies.

They added that the participants had decided to challenge the EVMs and other electoral law passed by the joint sitting in the apex court.

The PDM leadership has also demanded that general elections be held next year.





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