Pakistan is once again grappling with a wave of unrest as the country’s largest opposition party, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), continues to stage nationwide protests against Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government. The PDM, which is a coalition of opposition parties, has accused Khan of being a “puppet” of the military establishment and of rigging the 2018 elections to come to power.
The opposition’s grievances against the government are many, but they primarily relate to what they say is Khan’s failure to deliver on his promises of economic reform, education, and healthcare. They are also calling for an end to alleged political victimization and the suppression of free speech and dissent.
The protests, which began in late October, have so far been peaceful, but tensions have been escalating. In Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, police deployed baton-wielding officers and water cannons to disperse thousands of demonstrators who were protesting outside the provincial assembly.
Police arrested a number of opposition leaders, including Maryam Nawaz Sharif, daughter of the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently in exile in London. In a video message from her cell, Maryam accused the government of trying to intimidate and silence the opposition.
The situation has also raised questions about the role of the military in Pakistani politics. The opposition has accused the army of backing Khan’s government and interfering in the country’s politics. They are demanding that the military stay out of politics and allow the democratic process to take its course.
Pakistan has a history of military coups and authoritarian rule, and these protests pose a significant challenge to Khan’s government and the military establishment. The PDM is calling for an end to what it sees as military interference in the country’s affairs and for the restoration of democracy.
The unrest in Pakistan has also attracted international attention. The United States and other countries have called for calm and for the government to respect the right to peaceful protest. The European Union has expressed concern over the use of force against demonstrators and called for the release of opposition leaders.
In response to the protests, Khan has accused the opposition of trying to undermine democracy and stability in the country. He has also accused the PDM of being corrupt and lacking in credibility.
The situation in Pakistan is complex, with many different factors at play. Economic issues, political corruption, and the role of the military are all contributing to the unrest. It remains to be seen what the outcome will be, but one thing is certain: the PDM is determined to continue its protests until its demands are met, and the government is facing mounting pressure to respond.
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