PDM can’t overthrow government: Nabil Gabol

Senior PPP member says PDM has the same ‘optimism’ that Maulana Fazlur Rehman had during Azadi March in 2019

The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) won’t be able to overthrow the government because it was being led by hypocritical parties, said Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Nabil Gabol during a TV show.

Appearing as a guest on Kashif Abbasi’s show, Gabol said that the current PDM was not the same as when PPP Chairmam Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was at the helm. Abbasi further asked the source of PDM’s optimism, considering Gabol thought the alliance couldn’t bring down the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government. Gabol replied that it was the same brand of optimism instilled in Maulana Fazlur Rehman who was told two years ago that his grievances with the government would be solved by holding a rally in protest two years ago.

Gabol had referred to the Azadi March in 2019, in which Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam – Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Rehman marched to Islamabad to protest various aspects of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s leadership. Amongst the several reasons, Rehman objected to the appointment of economist Atif Mian to the Economic Advisory Council because of his Ahmadi faith and the arrest of former Tehreek-i-Labbaik (TLP) leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi. Although Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) did not join the protests, they expressed solidarity with Rehman’s mission.

Gabol added that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif benefitted from the symbolic alliance with Rehman as he was able to leave the country despite being sentenced to ten years imprisonment for corruption in the Avenfield reference.

PML-N lawmaker Zubair Umar got a chance to respond to Gabol and said his party maintained that the government’s own incompetence would cause their downfall. Overthrowing the government was a real possibility, added Umar, as PPP too wanted the PTI government gone. Umar said that the leading opposition parties had mild differences but when it came to grievances such as inflation, PPP and PML-N were on the same page.