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Does PDM promise a democratic future to the public?

Does PDM promise a democratic future to the public?

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PDM- Pakistan Democratic Movement is an alliance of 11-political party which has three major stakeholders; two leaders from political dynasties, PML-N Vice president Maryam Nawaz and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and the head of a religious political party, JUI-F Fazlur Rehman.

All three of them come from different political orientations; the PML-N; center right, PPP; center left and JUI-F; far right. Interestingly they organized this “Pakistan Democratic Movement” which they believe is going to overturn the government by December. The confidence and enthusiasm we see in the leadership is increasing day by day as supporters are showing up in rallies amid a vicious pandemic. 

But the question is: 

  • How democratic is this movement? 

Democratic movements are built on leadership, common demand and public interests.

So does PDM show any of the mentioned attributes of a democratic movement? 

Common Demands: Back in September during the All Party Conference, a 26 long charter of demands was presented but only three demands were expressed the most.

  • All governmental parliamentarians should resign along with Prime Minister, Imran Khan
  • Establishment blatant interference in political affairs should be curbed. 
  • Elections in the beginning of 2021

Some demands such as blatant interference of the establishment in politics have indeed initiated a conversation among the common public but people should not get blind by fiery rhetoric. At best we should get used to it.

Pakistan’s opposition parties leaders, from left, Maryam Nawaz, Shahbaz Sharif, Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Yousuf Raza Gillani, and Mahmood Khan Achakzai attend an all parties conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, June 26, 2019. Opposition parties met in Islamabad to discuss strategy about ousting the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan over his alleged failure in handling the economy. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

The Leaders: We should also look beyond these intense speeches and banter especially at the leadership who is manifesting their hatred for government through these speeches.

Right now we have 

  • Mayam Nawaz: a leader who believes that her father is the last hope for Pakistan to recover from democratic crisis because he has every quality of a genuine leader, just so you know her dad has been found guilty of money laundering and frauds. 
  • Bilawal Bhutto Zardari: a budding leader who is stressing on progressive vibes to level the extensive corruption charges on his beloved grandfather’s political party 
  • Fazlur Rehman: a veteran politician with high experience of switching sides of the aisle. His ideology is strictly religious and he believes that PDM will make Pakistan an Islamic state in its true sense.  

The Public Interest: Well we can’t deny that public commodities such as sugar, flour and eggs were a part of the  speeches. Leaders complained about how the sitting government is anti-public and during their government in the past, circumstances were very public friendly. Public interest such as economic disparity, violence, minimum wage, infrastructure, water, electricity, land mafia and sectarianism were just not the focus.

Silver Lining: There are a lot to unpack in PDM rallies and most of it is problematic but the one silver lining is the initiative of taking names. Name of the institutions, officials or ex-official who were responsible for a lot of problems in the past and continue to harm the present. But any statement regarding PDM fate will be presumptuous that’s why we have to wait till December to see where exactly this democratic movement is heading. 

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