Pakistan’s opposition parties protest to topple Imran Khan govt

New Delhi (NVI): Major opposition parties in Pakistan have joined hands for a nationwide protest to oust the Imran Khan government as the Pak PM has been accused of being installed by the military in a rigged 2018 election.

The supporters of at least 11 opposition parties in Pakistan gathered in huge numbers at a stadium in Gujranwala city to begin the protest against the Pakistan PM.

Last month, nine major opposition parties had formed a joint platform called the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to begin a nationwide agitation against the government.

However, Khan, who came to power on an anti-graft platform said today that he wasn’t afraid of the opposition’s campaign, which was aimed at “blackmailing him” to drop corruption charges against their leaders. Khan also denies that the army helped him win.

Apart from Gujranwala, hundreds of Pakistan citizens have also hit the streets of Islamabad to protest against Imran Khan.

They are protesting against the price hike and ‘anti-employee policies’ of the local government.

Meanwhile, Maryam Nawaz, the daughter and political heir of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said: “We have come out for the supremacy of the law”. “Our struggle is against injustice, unemployment and all-time price hikes,” Maryam was quoted as saying by foreign media.

It is pertinent to mention here that Nawaz Sharif is currently residing in London after being released from prison earlier this year for medical treatment. In August, he broke a nearly yearlong silence from exile by vowing to oust Khan from office through protests.

Islamabad is witnessing a storm of union-led protests from various sectors. Yesterday thousands converged outside the Pakistani parliament and staged a sit-in. This included government employees, farmers, teachers, doctors, health workers and pensioners.

Among other opposition leaders, Bilawal Bhutto, the son of assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who heads her Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), and a religious leader, Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, were leading separate rallies to join the main gathering at the stadium in Gujranwala.

Apart from that, Asif Ali Zardari, the former President of Pakistan and the leader of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has been issued an arrest warrant by the national accountability bureau of Pakistan — the country’s anti-corruption watchdog.

Meanwhile, the protest movement comes when Pakistan is experiencing an economic crisis, with inflation touching double digits and negative growth. The next general election is scheduled for 2023.