Pakistan’s opposition takes blunt aim at country’s military

Pakistan’s main opposition parties have united to launch a new movement against the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the involvement of the country’s powerful military in politics, a move that analysts say has limited chances of achieving success.

On Sunday, leaders of the country’s two main opposition parties, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), joined with a coalition of other opposition parties from across the country to hold a show of unity at a multi-party conference in the capital, Islamabad.

The six parties and some smaller organisations, signed a declaration announcing the formation of the “Pakistan Democratic Movement” (PDM), aimed at holding countrywide protests from next month.

“The [military] establishment should stop every kind of interference in politics forthwith,” said the declaration, which also accused Prime Minister Khan of failing to govern effectively.

Speakers at Sunday’s gathering included former three-times prime minister and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, his younger brother Shehbaz, former Pakistani president and PPP chief Asif Ali Zardari and his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, and several other top politicians.

They reiterated allegations that the military had rigged the 2018 election to help Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party score victory.

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