Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) President and JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman Tuesday said the judiciary’s integrity had come into question after the recent allegations from within – a reference to the affidavit submitted by former Gilgit-Baltistan chief justice Rana Shamim against the ex-CJP Saqib Nisar. Speaking to the media after attending a PDM meeting, Fazl said the conspiracies that took place against the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his party and other opposition leaders were actually conspiracies against the country and democracy. “We respect courts but are also hurt,” he said, referring to the Rana Shamim affidavit and the alleged Justice (retd) Saqib Nisar audio clip. The JUI-F leader said the recent controversies had raised questions on the freedom and independence of the judiciary. “With a heavy heart, we think that they [judiciary] will have to regain their status through their character,” he added. The PDM leader said these conspiracies were the main reason why Pakistan was facing an economic crisis today. Fazl said the PDM will hold its next meeting on December 6 where they will take important decisions. Fazl said the entire nation was demanding an independent Election Commission. “It is totally unacceptable to clip the ECP’s wings,” he said, adding that the Constitution had already laid down the powers of the commission. He said the joint opposition will play a role in guaranteeing that overseas Pakistanis “have representation in the Parliament”, warning them not to get caught up in what he called the government’s lies. Speaking about the electronic voting machines (EVMs), he said the government wanted to hold elections when the world had rejected the same process. “We reject this pre-poll rigging,” he said, referring to the government’s move to pass laws relating to the voting machines. Fazl said the government had made the State Bank a branch of the IMF. The opposition alliance discussed the alleged audio leak of the former chief justice in which he allegedly tells another person that Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz will have to be punished to make space for Imran Khan in politics, the media reported quoting sources. Sources said the opposition leaders had decided to raise the issue at the national level. During the meeting, the opposition members agreed that the audio clip was another proof of the alleged conspiracy to oust an elected prime minister (Nawaz Sharif) from office. Fazlur Rehman has thrown his weight behind the decision to hold a long march in Islamabad and for opposition lawmakers to resign from the assemblies when the caravan reaches there., confirmed sources. The PDM has also agreed on challenging the government’s laws on EVMs and electoral in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Senators Farooq H Naik, Azam Nazir Tarar and Kamran Murtaza have been tasked with preparing a strategy in this regard.