RAWALPINDI Pakistan, Jan. 10, Reuter: Pakistan’s main opposition alliance said on Sunday it had recovered from near collapse and was planning a new campaign r free election.
The nine parties Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) said Pakistan faced an “extremely grave” situation because of President Mohammad ZiaulHaq’s policies and urged all democratic forces to unite to bring about change.
The MRD’s executive committee, which ended a two day meeting here on Saturday night, said in a statement it would launch its new campaign with a rally on February 12 in the Punjab provincial capital Lahore.
“We will try to do everything nonviolent not only to mobilize public opinion but also to change the system,” MRD Secretary General Malik Mohammad Qasim told a news conference.
He said he hoped the campaign would be more potent than the one in 1983 when the MRD sayd hundreds of supporters were killed in clashes with security forces. The government put the death toll at more than 60.
MRD acting convenor Qaswar Gardezi said two years of rifts over the alliance’s organizational structure had immobilized the movement and had driven it to breaking point.
“But we are out of the crisis now. It is over”, he said.
He said the crisis was resolved when the MRD decided to shelve restructuring plans to which its leading member, Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), had objected.
“At the same time, in the interest of unity, the PPP agreed to give up its demand for any kind of special weightage in the MRD,” he said.
Bhutto attended the meeting, the MRD’s first since her December 18 marriage to Asif Zardari, a businessman from her home province of Sind.
The meeting decided to continue rotating the MRD convenor ship among its member parties. Bhutto take over the convenor ship in February for three months.
Article extracted from this publication >> January 15, 1988