PDM — extraordinary challenge for establishment

Shiraz Pracha

It is no longer important how large or organized the public gathering of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) is. The most important thing is that the 11 parties of PDM are the biggest population of Pakistan and from all parts of Pakistan. Relations represent the people. This population is against PTI government policies. Opposition in a modern democratic state oppose ruling party policies. But the agenda of the newly formed Pakistan Democratic Movement in Pakistan is extraordinary. PDM, especially one of its important leader and former Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is demanding a complete reform of the political system through which the civil government should be given decisive options against the establishment.

For the first time in the history of Pakistan, PDM rallies are being held openly on the issue of army involvement in politics. PDM is not only opposing the role of army in politics, now, PDM leaders are taking names of senior Army officers in their rallies. Consensus is also being created against back door politics and political engineering.

Earlier Nawaz Sharif held some military officers responsible for this situation and now other PDM leaders are also following Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. Today at PDM’s Peshawar rally, PMLN leader Muhammad Nawaz Sharif didn’t speak but Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Bilawal Bhutto, Amir Haider Khan Hoti and others spoke in almost one accent. Common people are now aware of the hidden aspects of politics. Matters which were discussed in only elite rooms and small groups, now they are discussed openly and in public. This public conversation is making the current PDM movement different from past political campaigns.

In the late 1960 s, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto presented the concept of — power to all people in Pakistan. He informed the Pakistani people about the importance of the power of vote through which they can change governments. Almost 55 years later Nawaz Sharif has come up with another slogan: Respect the vote, which means not only paper power but the spirit of power is being told to return to the people.

Nawaz Sharif has challenged Pakistan’s powerful establishment with the slogan of respecting vote. This is a very real and unparalleled challenge as big political parties in Punjab and small provinces are supporting Nawaz Sharif’s demand. A cool minded religious leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman who speaks in logical manner is the head of PDM. He stands shoulder to shoulder with Nawaz Sharif. Another big political party of the country Pakistan People’s Party ( PPP), who is strong in Sindh Province and it across the country, is a founding member of PDM while nationalist parties in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, ANP and QWP and Baluchistan’s left wing national party and Nationalist parties are also included in PDM.

An aggressive political narrative, nationwide representation and experienced leadership makes the PDM a strong political force that stands for civilian rule, transfer of power and restricting army to merely defense. Perhaps Pakistan is on the threshold of another major political change in his journey to become a normal and stable democratic country.