After a hiatus of several months, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) staged a comeback with a power show in Karachi. This comes as just days after the PTI government marked three years in power and is showing its success for another term.
PDM chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman has refused to quit and vowed to relaunch a movement against the government, culminating with a march towards Islamabad. The PDM had lost its momentum after the PPP distanced itself from the opposition movement. Bilawal Bhutto has hinted at launching his own movement soon, saying it is the only credible party to oust the government.
The PDM relied on PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif to maintain relevance during the rally. He resorted to the same vitriol and lashed at state institutions, blaming them for derailing democracy. PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif was also in town complaining of the ‘step motherly’ treatment meted to Karachi and accusing the government of false promises to the people of Sindh. Maryam Nawaz was a conspicuous absence that shows an internal rift within the PML-N.
Apart from the usual politics, there was not much the power show had to offer. The PDM had lost its voice without the PPP and claims of giving the PTI government a hard time cannot be taken seriously. The PDM has vowed to march on to Islamabad with tens of thousands of people to remove the government. However, no campaign or strategy has been given and the inability to hold a march earlier has raised skepticism about whether then plans will go ahead.
The government is least concerned over the PDM’s rally. Foreign Minister Qureshi dubbed them as ‘unseasonsal’ gathering while other PTI leaders maintain the PDM has withered away. The PTI government is basking in the glory of completing its third parliamentary year. At this moment, it is unlikely that the PDM will pose any threat to its government.
The future of the PDM still remains uncertain but political activities could increase in the coming days. Perhaps the PDM’s eyes should be on the next elections within two years. It seems these rallies would be a prequel to the new polls rather than any attempts to oust the government.