Maryam says Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz victims of anti-democratic forces

PDM in Larkana for Benazir Bhutto's death anniversary
Dec 27, 2020

PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz are in Larkana's Garhi Khuda Baksh for the death anniversary of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Maryam addressed the rally first, and paid her condolences to the Bhutto family and PPP supporters. She revisited the political relationship of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, saying that both suffered at the hands of anti-democratic forces.

She said that when the PPP came into power in 2008, many wanted PML-N to topple the government. But Nawaz Sharif was strongly against it and said political parties do not conspire against or for anyone to form governments, but the public is responsible for electing a party into power.

She accused Prime Minister Imran Khan of using army's name to hide his "incompetence and corruption". "Opposition is accused of criticising the army, but whenever we talk about inflation...corruption, Imran says 'army stands with me'. He is the one who drags army into politics for his own gains," she said.

PPP co-chairman and former president Asif Zardari addressed the rally via a video link, and said that the party will avenge Benazir Bhutto's assassination but through democracy.

He accused the prime minister of running the National Accountability Bureau and harassing business owners by filing cases against them. "You can either run NAB or the country," he said.

Zardari said that the PPP never had political prisoners, and believed in reconciliation. He challenged the government to act on its claim that it would hold by-elections if the opposition resigns, saying "we will see who wins". PDM has threatened resignations from legislative assemblies if their demands are not met.

Bilawal Bhutto said that Benazir Bhutto struggled for the causes of democracy, freedom of speech and supremacy of the Constitution, and Pakistan needs to continue working towards achieving these.

He complained that the smaller provinces are not getting their rights. Balochistan and Sindh are the top gas producers in the country but from Kashmore to Karachi, and even Sui does not get gas. He criticised the fencing of Gwadar, and said its residents and fishermen are being kept out of the city. "We do not want a CPEC like this."

He repeated the PDM's demand that the opposition will march to Islamabad if the prime minister does not resign by January 31st.

Today (Sunday) marks the 13th death anniversary of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Garhi Khuda Baksh, where the rally is being held, is also home to the Bhutto family mausoleum.

What is the Pakistan Democratic Movement?

Ahead of the rally, Maryam and other PDM leaders were welcomed at Naudero House.

The PDM, which comprises 11 opposition parties, has been staging anti-government rallies across Pakistan.

The first rally was held in Gujranwala on October 16, the second in Karachi on October 18, and the third in Quetta on October 25. The movement’s fifth rally was held in Peshawar on November 22 and its sixth in Multan on November 30.

The opposition members said there should be accountability for anyone accused of corruption, not just the opposition. At the rallies, the opposition leaders also challenged the country’s powerful establishment, accusing them of bringing the PTI government to power through systematic rigging.


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