Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, while giving an interview to a British media outlet, claimed that naming the military’s leadership during the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) Gujranwala rally was the personal decision of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif. The PPP chairperson further said that he was waiting for Nawaz to present evidence to back up his claims. “The PML-N had not named Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa or Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief General Faiz Hameed while preparing the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s agenda.” Referring to the opposition alliance’s first rally, Bilawal said he was surprised to hear the names of the military leadership as the agenda decided by the PDM was ‘clear’ and was earlier approved during the All Parties Conference (APC). “PDM does not want the military leadership to resign; this is neither a demand in our resolution nor is it our position,” he said, “As far as Nawaz Sharif is concerned, he is a three-time prime minister and I am sure he would not have named without clear and solid evidence.” Criticising the incumbent premier, the PPP chairperson said Imran was using institutions as his personal ‘Tiger Force’ and maintained that all institutions of the country need to perform their functions as defined. “My party and I stand by the agenda and resolution of the Pakistan Democratic Movement and fully support it,” he said. Elaborating further, Bilawal said there are only “two ways” out of the current situation. “One, we must understand that the country is going through a tough period and we make it more difficult. The second option we have is that we stop and think about how to proceed further.” He added that it has to be acknowledged that progressive democracy was the only way forward and a weak democracy is still better than a dictatorship. “My party has always tried to achieve the goal in a democratic manner, as much as possible.” Regarding elections in Gilgit-Baltistan, he said that he got to see a lot of emotional scenes and was met by people who had a deep devotion to his grandfather and former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his mother Benazir Bhutto. Reacting to Bilawal’s statement, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said the statement by the PPP chief was “his own personal opinion”. “What Nawaz Sharif said is a fact, and the witnesses are the people of Pakistan and Nawaz Sharif himself.” Muhammad Zubair, spokesperson for Nawaz Sharif, also said that the PML-N respects Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as he is an ally of PDM, but what he has said is his personal opinion rather than the PPP’s opinion. “What Nawaz Sharif had expressed in the public meeting was not based on a tale but these were facts,” he added. The PDM set off its countrywide protest campaign against the incumbent government by holding a maiden power show in Gujranwala on October 16, which the opposition termed a “decisive referendum against the incompetent” rulers. In their addresses, the heads of the PDM’s constituent parties fired a broadside against the government and particularly made Prime Minister Imran Khan the target of their trenchant criticism, accusing him of failure in fulfilling the promises he made to the people before the 2018 elections. The PDM, comprising around a dozen opposition parties on a joint platform to get rid of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, was formed last month and has planned six big rallies across the country until December to force the government to call fresh elections.