October 20th, 2020

By Rehan Piracha 


LAHORE 

The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has made waves with its outspoken speeches against the sitting government and the leaders that made their voices be heard raised quite a few issues.

Foremost was the issue of inflation and rising prices, pushing many into poverty. But apart from the price hike, a major theme was concerning the rights of people. This point was reiterated by several leaders in the October 18, jalsa in Karachi.

Voicepk has compiled some important quotes from their speeches.

Akhtar Mengal, President of Balochistan National Party (Mengal)

 

 

The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has made waves with its outspoken speeches against the sitting government and the leaders that made their voices be heard raised quite a few issues.

Foremost was the issue of inflation and rising prices, pushing many into poverty. But apart from the price hike, a major theme was concerning the rights of people. This point was reiterated by several leaders in the October 18, Jalsa in Karachi.

Voicepk has compiled some important quotes from their speeches.

Centre accused of grabbing provincial resources

“We were trying to protect our shores. Now they are trying to grab islands belonging to Sindh and Balochistan. From this act, you are not acting as a Federation but as an occupier who is grabbing resources in different regions of the country.”

Gwadar fishermen deprived of livelihood

“What have we been given in the name of CPEC. People of Gwadar are still waiting for potable water. People of Gwadar were given false promises of prosperity. The fishermen are unsetting unemployed and now unable to get even a one-time meal. They need permission chit to go out in the sea for fishing. Our shores and sea which these fishermen are protecting from centuries and fought off the Portuguese are not permitted to sail in it to fork out a living.”

Hayat Baloch’s killing

“Balochistan is the only unfortunate land in Asia that you would see mass graves there. Balochistan is the land of Hayat Baloch, a student in a Karachi university, who was arrested in front of his parents by Frontier Corps personnel. The mother’s scarf was used to tie up Hayat Baloch. He was shot dead in front of his mother. You would have heard of such incidents in Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine but I am narrating to you about the true stories in Balochistan.”

Missing persons

“When our daughters and mothers learn of a disfigured dead body being brought to a hospital in Quetta, they travel in public buses to reach there. A mother is not able to identify his dead child by looking at the disfigured face but rather his shoes or the tattered clothes on the dead body.”

Mohsin Dawar, leader of the Pakhtun Tahaffuz Movement

Call for Truth Commission over military interventions

(The PM) should announce the constitution of a Truth Commission that will investigate whatever has happened in this country since 1948 till today. The Truth Commission will investigate allegations made by the prime minister as well as those made by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The demand is included in the draft of the Pakistan Democratic Movement. The commission should also probe people behind the massacre of Babarha and Kharhqamar. It should investigate all the military dictators and wars that the country has seen. The commission should take up the martial law imposed by Gen Ayub as well as that of Gen Musharraf. The truth commission should also investigate the war imposed on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Besides, it should investigate war fought for US dollars in the region.”

Terrorists regrouping for the launch of new ‘war on terror’

“Despite many big military operations, terrorists are regrouping again in this region. We fear that the country is being pushed into another war on terror. Once again we will fodder for the war, our next generations and children will be used for fighting this new war. When we present these facts before the world, we are accused of being traitors. Our workers are murdered.”

Extra-judicial killings

“The Truth Commission should investigate extrajudicial killings of Amar Luni, Naqeebullah Mehsud, Tahir Dawar, and Arif Wazir. What is the reason that whenever political workers are killed in the country, there is no investigation into their murders? There is something that certain elements want to keep hidden.”

Unfounded cases against political workers

“Unfounded cases are filed against the parents of our workers. One of the leaders of the PTM, Gulalai Ismail, is facing cases of terrorism against her and her family. She is that Gulai Ismail that a few years ago the State had honored with awards and the current President of Pakistan Arif Alivi had praised her in his tweets.”

Dawar also said:

“In the present scenario, I consider the (PDM) movement as the beginning of real democracy and civilian supremacy in the country. It is also a step for stopping the State’s repression against the political workers in the country. These political workers from whatever region of Pakistan, whether he is Hanif Pashteen from North Waziristan, whether he is Baba Jan from Gilgit Baltistan, whether he is Mehar Sattar from Okara, whether they be Sindhi and Baloch political workers, the present government has lodged fabricated cases against them because of their political ideology. Of which we find no precedence even in the times of the worst military dictatorship in the country.”

Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Chairman of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party

Marginalized nationalities

“We Pashtun, Baloch, Sindhi, and Seraiki people living in this country cannot tolerate living as second class citizens. We all will be equal in this country.”

Parliament should be the base of power

The path to revolution in Pakistan is that we formulate a new Pakistan in which power rests with the representatives of the people. All internal and external politics should emanate from the Parliament. The languages of the people living in the land should be respected. Pashto, Balochi, Brohi, Seraiki, Sindhi, and Urdu should be respected. Urdu is lingua franca but is not our language.”

Probe for May 12 and Karsaaz massacres

“If we have to keep Karachi as an economic hub, we must pledge from the platform of Pakistan Democratic Movement that we will launch investigations into the May 12 and Karsaaz massacres.”

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