In an unprecedented move, leaders of 11 of Pakistan's top opposition parties have joined forces against the Pakistan Military for rigging the 2018 elections that saw the rise of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf's Imran Khan as the Prime Minister of the nation.
The leaders of 11 major Opposition parties have together formed the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to launch a three-phased anti-government movement. The PDM would begin countrywide public meetings, protest demonstrations and rallies before a “decisive long march” towards Islamabad in January 2021.
The Opposition leaders have 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 military establishment in politics."
Apart from these, Pakistan's two main Opposition parties -- the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) have also been openly criticising the role of the military in Pakistan politics.
The massive backlash of the Imran Khan-led government started with Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif's allegations wherein he exposed the military establishment's complete interference in the democratic process, alleging the presence of "a parallel government" that was more powerful than the democratically-elected government. The PML-N leader had also alleged that the military was responsible for bringing Khan to power.
After Sharif, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari confirmed the former Prime Minister's allegations saying, "Such things were never witnessed even in dictatorships of General Zia and Gen Musharraf," as quoted by Dawn. He has also warned of a 'strong reaction' from his party including a 'siege of Islamabad' if upcoming elections in Gilgit-Baltistan saw any interference.
“I wonder how you deploy a soldier inside and another outside the polling station. That was so strange. Even if you (military establishment) have done something wrong or not, you would be blamed either way. This should not happen,” said Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
Pakistan which is forcibly holding elections in occupied Gilgit and Baltistan on November 15 has faced a strong backlash from India which has conveyed that the areas are an integral part of Indian territory.
On the other hand, in a bid to crack down the criticism against the government, the Lahore Police has filed an FIR against the country's former PM Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and other top leaders of the Opposition PML-N party for allegedly "conspiring against the institutions of the army and judiciary, and inciting people against them."
(With Agency Inputs)