PDM power show in Quetta an eye-opener for govt

By: Salim Bokhari      Published: 08:41 PM, 25 Oct, 2020
PDM power show in Quetta an eye-opener for govt

As was expected that Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) rally in the heart of Balochistan capital city Quetta would be huge, it is, in fact, an eye-opener. The massive turnout has undermined all claims made by ministers, advisers and spokesperson who were shouting at full throttle of their voices that people have rejected the PDM movement.

At the same time their claim and desire of the PTI government that there was a split in the ranks and files of the PDM leadership indicating rift between Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) on the Karachi episode of Capt Safdar’s arrest under mysterious circumstances.

They also alleged that some PDM leaders were not happy with PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif’s video link speech in its Gujranwala rally added that it was the reason that he could not address Karachi power show. Nawaz Sharif’s Quetta rally address was as hostile as at the Gujranwala rally.

The focal point of Nawaz Sharif’s speech was to clarify that he was not against the institution of the Armed Forces but a few characters. This was picked up by the PTI leadership and projected as PML-N leader was toeing the line of Indian intelligence agency RAW and Premier Modi.

It was quite visible that the PTI government was panicked and created a lot of hue and cry about PDM’s Quetta power show. Firstly, Balochistan Chief Secretary expressed fears that such a large number of people coming from different parts of the country may bring in their garb the coronavirus endangering the local population.

Little earlier than the PDM’s announcement of their plan to hold rallies in different major cities, the Quetta authorities imposed a ban on the entry of some leaders of the few PDM parties on July 29.

As a result of this, Mohsin Dawar, an elected member of the National Assembly was denied entry and was stopped at the Quetta Airport. His party workers continue to protest outside the airport for several hours.

In an attempt to restrict the local population from attending the PDM rally, Section 144 was imposed. Not only this, mobile and internet services in the capital city were also suspended from morning until 9pm. These measures were apparently adopted to ensure very little coverage of the PDM rally on social media.

The PDM spokesmen were found accusing the provincial as well as federal governments of instructing electronic media channel owner to air moderate coverage of the Quetta rally. Electronic media channels aired full speeches of three main leaders besides showing clips of other leaders.

The focus of Maulana Fazalur Rehman and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was that the PTI government had caused serious damage to CPEC projects resulting in slowing down the speed of work.

The JUI chief accused Imran Khan of damaging decades-old excellent bilateral and brotherly relations with Saudi Arabia which has all along helped Pakistan in difficult times. He cited the recent example of Riyadh depositing US dollar three billion as security to stable Pakistan’s deteriorating economy.

The other point the Maulana highlighted was demolishing the government’s propaganda that PDM was playing the hands of Indian RAW and following Modi’s anti-Pakistan campaign. He said it was Imran Khan who prayed success of Modi in Indian general elections hoping he would resolve the issue of occupied Kashmir. “Was annexing the held-Valley by revoking Article 370 of the Indian constitution the solution that Imran Khan wanted,” he questioned.

Bilawal Bhutto also accused the PTI government of rolling-back the CPEC which was otherwise a game-changer for Pakistan. He claimed no other party that the PPP has looked after the right of the Baloch people and cited the example that Akhaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan initiative was taken by the PPP.

In her speech, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif said selectors and selected had to resign. She vowed to end the puppet show and bring real rule of people in the country.

All said and done, the Quetta rally has provided big confidence to the PDM for its planned rallies in Peshawar, Multan and Lahore. PML-N is already busy making preparation of December 13 rally in Lahore for which different committees have since been formed. It is expected that the PDM’s Peshawar rally would be another power show organised by the JUI-F.