Opposition mark July 25 as ‘black day’, rallies across country

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PESHAWAR: Pakistan’s main opposition parties held protest rallies in cities across the country on Thursday, accusing Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government of ruining the economy and seeking to intimidate and silence its opponents.

“Every day in the presence of Imran Khan is a black day,” Maryam Nawaz, leader of the PML-N party that was ousted from power in last year’s election told a crowd of thousands of supporters in a football stadium in the western city of Quetta.

She accused Khan of accepting “dictation” from U.S. President Donald Trump during his visit to Washington and proposed a march on the capital Islamabad but did not name a date.

In Peshawar, with the government marking a year since it was elected into power, the opposition parties observed July 25 as a ‘black day’. Opposition parties including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the Awami National Party (ANP), the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) and the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP)  staged rallies in the provincial capital to mark the day.

The call to observe black day was given after consultations between leaders of opposition parties, a week ago. The main rally was held near the exit of the motorway.

PML-N Central President Shehbaz Sharif, ANP Central President Asfandyar Wali Khan, QWP chief Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, JUI-F Ameer Maulana Fazlur Rehman and others addressed the rally.