Soon after Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) announced a long march in Islamabad on March 23, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain predicted on Monday that the alliance's head Maulana Fazlur Rehman had many times in the past changed the date of long march and expected that the decision would meet the same fate this time around too.
Responding to Fazl's media talk, the minister in a video message said the JUI-F chief only wanted to remain relevant and therefore, he was making such moves. "Have some courage Maulana Sahib and look around you... there is no one [to support you]," he added.
He predicted that the PDM will once again change the date of its long march as the alliance has done many times in the past.
Fawad said that March 23 was a significant day for all Pakistanis and the message from the political leadership on such a day should be of uniting the nation instead of dividing it.
"You are here and we are also here and March 23 is not far away... we will see what happens," he added.
Rashid suggests PDM should carry out long march in April
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed expressed his disappointment over PDM leadership’s decision of long march.
"On March 23, the Armed forces of Pakistan conduct a traditional parade in which foreign ambassadors and delegates, as well as the people of the country, participate," he added.
یوم پاکستان پر پی ڈی ایم کا مارچ کی کال دینا ایک انتہائی غیر ذمہ دارانہ اور غیر اخلاقی اقدام ہے— Sheikh Rashid Ahmed (@ShkhRasheed) December 6, 2021
تئیس مارچ کو افواج پاکستان قومی دن پر روائتی پریڈ کرتی ہیں جس میں پاکستانی عوام سمیت غیر ملکی سفیر اور مندوب بھی شرکت کرتے ہیں
Rashid said that the capital is placed on high alert due to the parade and some of the routes are also blocked two to three days before March 23.
"At such a time, the call of the march is not a positive step. It would be appropriate for the PDM to carry out the march in April," he suggested.
Earlier today, the joint opposition alliance announced staging an “inflation march” against the PTI-led government in Islamabad on March 23 next year.
“We will stage ‘inflation march’ in Islamabad. People from across the country will participate [in the anti-government protest],” said JUI-F chief while briefing the media on the decisions taken during PDM’s meeting held in Islamabad earlier today.
When asked why the opposition alliance had picked March 23 to hold protest, a day known as ‘Pakistan Day’ and is celebrated annually to commemorate the Lahore Resolution of 1940 that eventually led to the creation of Pakistan, Fazl, who also heads PDM, said the anti-government demonstration was also an important issue for the country.
“This is also an issue of national interest and this country belongs to everyone,” he remarked.
However, he refused to reveal as to how many days the anti-government protest would last in the federal capital.
The Express Tribune had reported that the main parties in the opposition alliance still seem to be divided over the option of giving en masse resignation.
A leader of a component party had told The Express Tribune that the JUI-F had sought a long march followed by en masse resignations, while the PML-N wanted the latter option to be withheld for now.
The leader added that they did not see any advantage of staging a long march without resignations.
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