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In rare public appearance, Maryam Nawaz to address rally in Karachi on Oct 18

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Karachi, Oct 11: In a rare public appearance, Maryam Nawaz, Vice President of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), will address the grand anti-government rally on October 18 here organised by the alliance formed by the opposition parties to oust the Imran Khan-led government.

Maryam Nawaz

On September 20, the leaders of 11 major Opposition parties announced formation of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and launch of a three-phased anti-government movement under an "action plan" starting with countrywide public meetings, protest demonstrations and rallies before a "decisive long march" towards Islamabad in January 2021.

The first anti-government rally is scheduled on October 16 in Gujranwala in Punjab province followed by another rally on October 18 in Karachi, in Quetta on October 25, Peshawar on November 22, Multan on November 30 and then a rally in Lahore on December 13.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former prime minister and senior PML(N) leader, said that Maryam, daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, would address the rally on October 18.

"She will address the rally. The momentum has now been built against the government and is in fact a reflection of the people''s annoyance over the current situation in the country," Abbasi said.

Abbasi said that Maryam''s appearance at the rally will boost the confidence of the people in the PDM.

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The schedule announced earlier showed that the first rally would be held on October 18 in Quetta.

The change was made at the request of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), one of the main Opposition parties in the alliance, which commemorates the day October 18 to pay homage to victims of Karsaz bombing in 2007 that killed scores of people attending a rally in Karachi to welcome slain prime minister Benazir Bhutto. She escaped unhurt in the blast.

The Opposition leaders had announced that they would use all political and democratic options, including no-confidence motions and mass resignations from Parliament to seek "the selected prime minister''s resignation and an end to the role of the establishment in politics."

They also issued a 26-point declaration in the form a resolution containing various demands, including the "end of establishment''s interference in politics, new free and fair elections after formulation of election reforms with no role of armed forces and intelligence agencies."

It will be a rare public appearance by Maryam, 46, in the port city of Karachi which is Pakistan''s biggest city and its financial and business hub. In the country''s political history, Karachi has always remained a centre point for opposition and democratic movements.

PPP Co-chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the rally being organised under the banner of PDM will be a massive power show and it will be the beginning of the end of the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

Imran Khan''s PTI emerged victorious in the 2018 general elections which the main opposition parties like the PML(N), PPP and Jamiat-e-Ulema (Maulana Fazlur Rehman) allege were not fair.

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