PDM may head towards breakdown

By: Mohsin Hassan

Is PDM heading towards breakdown? A detailed and critical analysis of the sessions, meetings and rallies by the opposition parities’ leaders of the newly formed Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leads to the conclusion that the alliance negated its core agenda adopted at the very outset of it launch or adopted during their own terms of government or share in it. The creation of National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the charges against Asif Ali Zardari and blames on each other are a few examples.

Further dents are visibly appearing as PTM’s Mohsin Dawar has announced that he is not affiliated with the PDM, because he has continuously been ignored. Whereas Gen (retd) Abdul Baldir and former Chief Minister of Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri have already left the alliance. It is now clear that the PML-N leadership, despite an opportunity arising out of the sad demise of the Nawaz Sharif’s mother, is not returning to Pakistan; this has caused a major psychological and moral dent to the PML-N Quaid in particular and the PDM in general. “Nothing can be more sacred and important for a man than his parents”, they observe, but by not accompanying with her body, he has almost alienated himself from political arena of future.

Likewise, Bilawal Bhutto has contracted coronavirus, right at a time when his sister was going to wed and he has just come back from a busy election campaign in Gilgit-Baltistan. The fact that the PDM had defied all requests and SOPs to save the leaders and their followers from the deadly demon, which has now resulted in many contracting Covid-19 positive. This has left a resentful mark in the eyes of general public.

Fazlur Rehman of JUI, Zardari of PPP, Maryam Nawaz of PML-N, Asfandyar of ANP, Mehmood Achakzai of PKMAP and six other opposition parties forming the PDM are the most seasoned and experienced politicians of our country. But, together they have made a serious political blunder by continuing adamantly holding public gatherings at the cost of lives of the general public amid the vast and wide spread of deadly coronavirus. This is something which they shouldn’t have insisted upon only in defiance of the government. Somebody in the PDM should have told them that coronavirus is neither political nor does relate to PTI. It is threat to everybody’s life. It attacks lethally at gatherings and inflicts heavy casualties like it did in Italy and Iran. Same has happened with Bilawal Bhutto, and one wishes that he may recover soon, come healthy and sound.

The second wave of coronavirus is spreading at intense pace due to which more than 50 deaths are being recorded daily, averagely. It may take more than six months to receive the vaccine and only solution left is the safety measures which the PDM is adamantly ignoring. Yes, they may not accept it because it’s against their political ego, but they must kindly understand that the common sense directly relates to the lives of innocent people. Their gathering in large numbers, at your call, for your vested interests, will put their life at risk of death as the resurge of coronavirus is already playing havoc due to mishandlings by the government. This is like going insane to fulfilling venomous objectives. Playing with people’s life is a deliberate attempt to obliterate masses – for the sake of no return. If PDM continues to doing so, and the cases of coronavirus contract increase manifold, the public sentiment will vote against them, which will obviously be a political death of PDM.

This ‘happy’ marriage of convenience by opposition’s political parties finds it difficult to proceed further under Maulana Fazlur Rehman, whose agenda is to talk against the state institutions only. All the political parties are losing their vote banks due to the statements of Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who is said to have close relations with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. Moreover, the opposition parties have accepted Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s leadership for a political convenience, they are cashing in on Fazlur Rehman’s grievances as well sentiments against the government. Fazlur Rehman also knows it – so there stays lack of trust in between everyone. Maulana Fazlur Rehman may have a political clout because of his acumen in the affairs, but he has not a leadership quality as such. The leaders of Nawaz Sharif team and Zardari-led PPP understand this fact but they might be using him as the PDM head for their own political convenience.

On the other hand, however, a foreign news service, which has a record of accurate, impartial, independent journalism, has in its one of the articles on Maulana Fazl-led PDM surprisingly given a view that seems contrary to its tradition; there are so many factual mistakes and outright misstatements. While writing about the arrest of NS’s son-in-law the article forgets to mention that he did violate law by disrespecting the Quaid’s mausoleum. It also deplores ‘censorship’ on Mohsin Dawar’s speeches, but misses that the PML-N had itself not invited him to the rally, while Fazlur Rehman stops him from attending PDM meetings. Regarding banning NS’s speeches live, why not the same can be questioned about Trump’s allegations, which Twitter and TV have stopped to cover live? Why should there be double standards when the content of NS’ allegations against 2018 elections is almost the same as Trump’s? On NS disqualification, the article obfuscates the context; he was disqualified by a 5-member bench of the apex court in July 2017, a year before the elections, in Panama leaks case and he was convicted in graft cases involving his London flats.

Whatever the fate may be of the PDM, it is yet to be seen but it is in the interest of general public that the opposition parties must stop holding rallies and public gatherings in order to save lives of their leaders and followers. The opposition parties are really pulling crowd but at the risk of their lives. If one man catches the coronavirus from a public gathering, imagine he will spread it not only in his family or office or mosque, but everywhere, multiplying the coronavirus positive cases. If this continues, the people would reject PDM and the opposition may head towards an obvious breakdown.

The writer is Nowshera based contributor. He can be reached at [email protected]