Pak joint oppn holds massive rally in Quetta

Pakistan’s joint opposition on Sunday held a massive rally in Quetta, despite a blast in a different part of the city earlier that left three people dead.

Addressing the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) third march against the Imran Khan government, Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif asked Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa to answer for the country’s current situation. “Gen Bajwa, you will have to answer for record rigging in the 2018 elections, for horse-trading in the Parliament, for making Imran Niazi prime minister against people’s wishes and by tearing apart the Constitution and laws, for pushing people towards poverty and hunger,” he said via video link from London.

He accused Inter-Services Intelligence Director General Lt Gen Faiz Hameed of “interfering in politics for several years with impunity” in violation of his oath. PDM had held two mammoth rallies in Gujranwala and Karachi in the past weeks seeking the ouster of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Earlier in the day, at least three people were killed and six others wounded when a bomb exploded in a suburban neighbourhood of Quetta, home to several separatist and Islamist insurgencies. The bomb was concealed in a motorcycle. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Prime Minister Khan said on Sunday that French President Emmanuel Macron has “attacked Islam” by encouraging the display of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. He was responding to Macron paying tribute to a French teacher beheaded by an Islamist who wanted to avenge the use of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a class on freedom of expression.

“Sadly, President Macron has chosen to deliberately provoke Muslims, incl his own citizens, through encouraging the display of blasphemous cartoons targeting Islam & our Prophet, ” Khan tweeted. Khan said Macron had “chosen to encourage Islamophobia by attacking Islam rather than the terrorists”.

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