Azadi March: Not ready to bow before any dictator, says Bilawal

Islamabad: Calling Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan a “puppet”, Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari addressed a large crowd at the main camp of anti-government march and said that they will not bow down to any ‘dictator’.

“We are not ready to bow before any selector or dictator… The hub of power is people and not the state”, Bilawal said in front of the charged-up crowd waving flags of the various opposition party on Friday.

He also asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to step down and said, “All opposition parties have gathered at one platform to give a clear message to Prime Minister Khan that the time had come for him to step down”.

The march, spearheaded by Maulana Fazlur Rahman, the chief of the right-wing Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F), kickstarted from Karachi’s Sohrab Goth area on October 27 amidst a massive show of strength by the party workers from other opposition parties including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), and Awami National Party (ANP), Dawn reported.

The anti-government ‘Azadi March’ caravans reached its final destination at Peshawar Morr in the wee hours on Friday. Opposition parties participating in the massive protest are scheduled to hold a rally after Friday prayers.

JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman welcomed participants to the Azadi March. He also thanked Awami National Party president Asfandyar Khan Wali, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, PPP, PML-N and ANP workers as well all other parties’ workers.

Informed sources told The Dawn that PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif is expected to join Rahman in his Azadi March rally in Islamabad. The PML-N leader is scheduled to depart for Islamabad from Lahore and is expected to address the gathering in the capital.

The anti-government protest is likely to be one of the biggest in the country, surpassing the numbers of the 2014 ‘dharna’ held against the then Pakistani government led by Nawaz Sharif.

The purported aim of the march is to oust Imran Khan, who has been at the helm for just over a year.

Imran Khan has made it clear that he will not succumb to pressure from the Opposition and not resign from his post.