On Sunday, the Pakistan Democratic Movement renewed its demand for Prime Minister Imran Khan to step down by January 31, saying he would otherwise face a “long march” from Islamabad’s opposition. ۔
On the occasion of the 13th anniversary of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, 11 parties of the opposition had gathered at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh in Larkana.
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that if the prime minister did not resign by that date, party workers would march to the capital and “remove him from his seat”.
“If you think we will back down, you are mistaken” – Bilawal Bhutto Zardari
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the government and any Nasir who thinks that the opposition contest will end, will only have to keep an eye on Bhutto’s shrine in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh.
He spoke of the struggle of his grandfather and his uncles, all of whom “sacrificed their lives” but “did not give up their democratic beliefs.”
“Look at the life of Benazir Bhutto, it was just in the service of the people,” he said.
“Benazir is alive in everyone’s heart today, and the names of those who are fighting with her are forgotten.
Bilawal said, “There is no connection on the grave of Zia-ul-Haq, and General Pervez Musharraf is living a life of disgrace abroad.”
The young PPP leader, who lost his mother at an early age, said: “Benazir’s presence is badly missed today, and if she were around, it would be to fight the puppet opposition. Don’t dare. “
Bilawal said “the clouds of oppression are dissipating” and the time has come to hold “guilty rulers” accountable.
“If you are ready, if you are with me, no power in the world can stop us,” he added.
“If the Opposition Coalition (PDM) demands a long march, you have to be prepared. We are on the same page and on the same stage,” he said.
Addressing the workers, Bilawal once again asked: “Are you ready for the long march? Are you ready to fill the jails?”
He further asked if he was ready to reach Islamabad and “drag the puppet prime minister out of his chair”.
The PPP chairman said the opposition was on the battlefield “to overthrow the government and uphold democracy”. “We will drive out these puppets with your strength.”
‘Running country is not like managing cricket team’ – Asif Ali Zardari
In his address, PPP President Asif Ali Zardari said that running the country was “not like managing a cricket team”.
“Running a country requires a different mindset and these people don’t own it,” he said.
Zardari said, “This government will fall on its own weight.
He challenged the government to hold elections and see who the people are behind.
Zardari said the National Accountability Bureau had started “blackmailing” the people.
“I said in the assembly on the first day – run the country or run the NAB,” he said.
“There was not a single political prisoner in the PPP government,” the party president said.
He said that commodity prices were low during the PPP regime. “We ran the country as carefully as a child,” he added.
Zardari said he was “welcomed” when the rule ended and the PML-N came to power. He said he wanted to “see all political parties on the same page”.
When he felt better, he promised to “see you soon.” “This government will not last long. The government of your elected government will come,” he said.
The former president said he had “removed Pervez Musharraf from parliament”. “What is Imran Khan compared to?”
“We can eliminate Imran Khan Niazi. We need to change our perspective,” he told the crowd.
“We should fill the jails and we are ready to do so,” Zardari said.
Mary says PDM united, ‘only one man’
PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz started her speech in Sindhi to the surprise of the audience.
He thanked his hosts for their warmth and hospitality since arriving in the city.
Maryam said she was saddened that Benazir Bhutto, the first woman prime minister of the Muslim world, “had to give her life” during her struggle and for her beliefs. He said that it was a pity that she also walked with the Bhutto family.
Maryam recalled how, on this dark day, she was one of the first to inform Nawaz Sharif and how she had embraced the PPP leaders that day and shared their grief.
She said she knew what it was like to lose a mother. “This grief is fresh from two and a half years ago.”
“I still had to spend time with my mother, but Bilawal lost his mother when he was very young.”
Maryam said that she has never before shed such light on her heart. He recalled fond memories of spending a day with Benazir.
“Benazir fought for her father’s struggle and vision and then finally joined his later life.”
“I also want to fight for a united Pakistan,” he said.
When PML-N and PPP shook hands
The PML-N leader recalled the formation of the Pact of Democracy signed between the PPP and the PML-N, a journey initiated by Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto.
“These are not just tensions of history, they were events that were going to change the destiny of Pakistan,” he said.
He vowed that he and Bilawal would not only continue the journey but also move forward. “Anti-democratic forces have taken advantage of past political mistakes.”
Maryam said that after that all the political parties became leaders and not only corrected the mistakes but also vowed never to repeat them.
He said that the fruit of this initiative was taken at a time when the governments had decided to complete their tenure.
“In 2008, when it came to overthrowing the PPP government, Nawaz Sharif put an end to the notion that governments come and go, people have to decide, not political parties.”
He said that “some forces” for which the strategy of “division and rule” further explained, then “formed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) by tearing it apart from the political parties”.
Mary said that an “incompetent man” was then “imposed on all of us”.
‘You were not selected’
“What does the PDM need to say to this person? He is saying he doesn’t know anything […] He is saying that people should not gain power without preparation.
“I say, no one should be brought to power without preparation,” the PML-N leader said.
He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan, when people are “killing themselves with hunger and frustration due to inflation”, said, “What can I do, I do not have the magic button.”
“You say no one should take office without preparation, but you were not elected by the people.
“Those who brought you to power will have to go back,” he said.
‘Political ideology cannot be deported’
“Corruptors are forgiven, while political leaders are” imprisoned, shot and brought to justice, “Maryam said.
“But you can never go to the gallows or deport any political ideology […] That is why, there is no one to name you, but there are people in every corner of Pakistan to name Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto. “
He also paid tribute to the late Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth for convicting General Pervez Musharraf, “Who is the killer of Benazir and the Constitution”.
“Pakistan’s doors will always be closed to Musharraf, God willing […] We will always remember his (Seth’s) courage to uphold the constitution. “We will keep his memory alive.”
The dream of growing among the PDMs will never come true
Talking about the PDM, he said that it was a movement that had united all the provinces under the banner of the constitution.
“It seems that only one person is standing alone, failing, losing. The culprit is looking for an NRO from PDM,” he said.
“The dream of a split between the PDM parties will never come true,” Maryam said.
“You are not fighting with the PDM but against 220 million citizens,” he said, adding: “Tabeer Khan, you have lost this war.
‘Slap in the face of democracy’. Abdul Malik Baloch
National Party President Abdul Malik Baloch spoke to parliament about “being held hostage” and how “starving”.
He also objected to what he called the “occupation” of the Balochistan islands, saying that the people did not accept it.
“The government in power today is a slap in the face of democracy,” he added.
“Sindh-Balochistan relations are Pakistan’s offer” – Sardar Akhtar Mengal
Sardar Akhtar Mengal, chief of the Balochistan National Party Mengal Group, said: “We also love the land of Sindh. Relations between Sindh and Balochistan are Pakistan’s offer.”
He said that even “dictatorship” has not been able to put a dent in these relations.
‘We will support Bilawal like a brother’ – Haider Khan Hoti
Haider Khan Hoti, senior vice-president of the Awami National Party, said he “salutes Bibi’s sacrifices.” Martyr(Benazir Bhutto).
“Zardari Companions“I remember your loyalty to the Pakhtuns,” he added.
“The way you helped us, I will support Bilawal, like an older brother,” Hoti said.
He reminded how Benazir was afraid to return home despite various dangers to her life.
“Standing at the shrine of the martyrs today, I promise I will not give up the path of service,” the ANP leader announced.
Arrival of PDM leaders
Opposition leaders visited Larkana as the PDM was preparing for the second phase of its anti-government campaign.
PPP Chairpersons Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Isfa Bhutto Zardari received various political leaders when they started arriving in Larkana early in the morning. It included a PML-N delegation led by Maryam Nawaz.
The PML-N delegation included Captain (R) Safdar, Pervez Rashid, Maryam Aurangzeb, Muhammad Zubair, Muftah Ismail and Shah Muhammad Shah.
PPP leaders Faryal Talpur and Sherry Rehman also joined the PPP delegation to receive the PML-N leader.
PDM leaders then had to visit the shrine of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto to pay their respects.
After today’s rally, a dinner in honor of the PDM leaders will be hosted at Bhutto House, Naudero.
Benazir’s 13th birthday
Before her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, and her son, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, took over the reins of the party, Benazir, the central figure behind the PPP, was killed in a gun and bomb attack in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007.
Garhi Khuda Bakhsh is a village in Larkana where the Bhutto family’s family cemetery – Zulfiqar, Murtaza, and Benazir Bhutto – are all buried.
Benazir was sworn in as Pakistan’s first female Prime Minister on December 2, 1988. She was also the first woman to lead a Muslim state and twice served as Pakistan’s prime minister.
The Sindh government has declared a public holiday on the occasion of the former prime minister’s death anniversary.
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