Pakistan: Fazlur Rehman appointed chief for newly formed PDM alliance

Pakistan’s major opposition parties on Saturday named Jamiat Ulema-e Islam (F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman as head of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), the newly-formed alliance, aimed to oust the Prime Minister Imran Khan.

In a virtual meeting attended by leaders from major political parties, JUI-F chief was elected after several days of consultations, The Express Tribune reported.

Pakistani Muslim League (N) supremo and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Balochistan National Party (BNP) chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal and Maulana Fazl, were among the attendees.

Mohsin Dawar, the leader of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement congratulated Fazlur Rehman on Twitter.

“Participated in PDM’s meeting. Congratulations to Maulana Fazlur Rehman Sb for being elected president of PDM. We hope the forum will continue with its struggle against the hybrid regime and for the strengthening of democracy with the same clarity as during its inception at All Parties Conference (APC),” Dawar tweeted.

The leaders of 11 Pakistani opposition parties, prominent among which were the PPP, PML-N, Awami National Party, and JUI, at the conclusion of the APC on September 20 announced the formation of a joint platform, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

The PDM proposes to launch a mass protest campaign comprising public gatherings, political rallies, no-confidence motions, en masse resignations from assemblies and, finally, a long march in January that will culminate in a sit-in in Islamabad until their demands are met.

As opposition parties in Pakistan have formed a new united front with an aim of restoring “genuine and undiluted” democracy in the country, a European think tank said the opposition parties will need to “stick together” if they really intend to “loosen the stranglehold that the military establishment has had over governance and indeed the economy”.

“In the backdrop of these positive indications, the opposition will need to stick together if it really intends to loosen the stranglehold that the military establishment has had over governance and indeed the economy, of the country ever since its inception in 1947,” the European Foundation of South Asian Studies (EFSAS), said in a commentary.

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