Thousands of opposition supporters rallied in Karachi city on Sunday as part of a campaign to oust Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, accusing them of being planted by the army in the 2018 election.
Nine major opposition parties formed a joint forum called the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) last month to launch a nationwide agitation against the government.
Addressing the rally, Opposition Leader Maryam Nawaz said of Khan, “You have taken away jobs from people. You have taken away food from people twice a day.”
She is the daughter and political heir of former three-time chief Nawaz Sharif.
Another opposition leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said, “Our farmers are starving in their homes … Our youth are disappointed.”
The protests come as the country’s economy – which had already tanked before the global epidemic – struggles with double-digit inflation and negative growth, which Khan’s opponents accuse of his government.
Khan’s two-year tenure has seen growing censorship and discontent, a rift between critics and opposition leaders.
“Inflation has broken the back of many poor citizens, who force their children to feed,” said 63-year-old Fakir Baloch at a Karachi rally.
“It is high time that this government should go now,” he said as the crowd said, “Go Imran!”
The next general election is scheduled for 2023.
The rally in Karachi on Friday followed the coalition’s protests in the eastern Gujranwala city, the biggest protest against Khan since he assumed office.
Speaking via video link at the Gujranwala Sabha from London, Sharif accused Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa of rigging the 2018 elections and orchestrating his razor in 2017, which he said was aided by the judiciary-backed allegations Trump was done.
Maryam said his party was not anti-military, but, “If you say that we will honor those who will crush ballots under their boots, it is not going to happen.”
The army, which refuses to mediate in politics or electoral lawlessness, has not yet responded specifically to Sharif’s allegations.
Khan and the army, which came to power on the anti-corruption platform, have defended the army by refusing to help them win.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)