Pakistan Democratic Movement

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Pakistan Democratic Movement
Secretary-GeneralShahid Khaqan Abbasi[1]
SpokespersonHafiz Hamdullah[2]
Vice PresidentMahmood Khan Achakzai[3]
Senior Vice PresidentAftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao[4]
Asif Ali Zardari
Shehbaz Sharif
Founded20 September 2020; 3 years ago (2020-09-20)
DissolvedSeptember 2023[5]
Political positionBig tent
Colors  Green
44 / 100
National AssemblyAssembly dissolved
Punjab AssemblyAssembly dissolved
Sindh AssemblyAssembly dissolved
KPK AssemblyAssembly dissolved
Balochistan AssemblyAssembly dissolved
Azad Kashmir Assembly
7 / 53
Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly
5 / 33
All Parties Conference on 20 September 2020 in which PDM was founded

The Pakistan Democratic Movement (Urdu: پاکستان ڈیموکریٹک موومنٹ), or PDM, was a coalition of political parties in Pakistan.[6] It was founded in September 2020 as a movement against the prime minister Imran Khan, accusing his regime of poor governance, political victimisation of opponents, and mismanaging the economy and foreign policy. The struggle was also joined by several dissident members of Khan's own party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).[7] On 10 April 2022, the coalition succeeded to oust Khan through a no-confidence motion,[8][9][10] after which the PDM formed its own government, choosing the opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif as the country's prime minister.

The president of PDM is Fazal-ur-Rehman and the spokesperson is Hafiz Hamdullah, both from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUIF).[2] Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of the Pakistan Muslim League (PMLN) is the Secretary-General, Mahmood Khan Achakzai of the Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP) is the Vice President, and Aftab Sherpao of the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) is the Senior Vice President of the alliance.[3][4][1] PDM's former Senior Vice President was Raja Pervaiz Ashraf of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), while the former spokesperson was Mian Iftikhar Hussain of the Awami National Party (ANP).[11][12]


The PDM is political movement which was based on the allegations of rigging in the 2018 Pakistani general election, which Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf won. The major agenda of PDM was the narrative that Imran Khan had mismanaged the economy, which resulted in increased inflation in the country, and that the price hike affected the lives of common Pakistanis.[13] PDM leaders claimed that Qamar Javed Bajwa, the Pakistan Army Chief, and Faiz Hameed, head of the intelligence services (ISI), were responsible for "selecting" Imran Khan to office.[10]

However, Imran Khan's government maintained that the movement was motivated by a series of corruption cases against the leaders of the political parties that had previously governed Pakistan, namely the Pakistan Muslim League (PMLN) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).[14] Moreover, according to Imran Khan, the opposition never appealed to the legal bodies to contest the elections, as his party PTI had in the 2013 general elections. He repeatedly claimed that the opposition was demanding amnesty under the National Reconcialiance Ordinance (NRO), despite the opposition's statements that they did not desire NROs.[15][16][17]


On 20 September 2020, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of the center-left Pakistan Peoples Party, hosted an "all parties conference" at the Islamabad Marriott Hotel to form a grand political alliance and plan strategy for replacing the PTI government. Fazal-ur-Rehman, a harsh critic of military establishment, read out the 26-point resolution adopted by the attendees.[18][19]


On 16 October 2020, PDM held its first political gathering in Gujranwala.[20] Protests organised by the PDM in October 2020 drew over 50,000 people.[21] The government has remained critical and dismissive of the rallies.[22] The PDM planned to hold a "long march" in June 2021,[23] despite objections of large gatherings by health experts, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan.[citation needed]


PDM leadership onstage at its inaugural gathering in Gujranwala on 16 October 2020

In December 2020, due to disagreements with Fazl-ur-Rehman's leadership, Muhammad Khan Sherani and other senior members of the JUI broke away and formed their own political party called the Jamiat-Ulema-i-Islam Pakistan, claiming that Fazl had personalized the party and used it for his own needs, dismissing the needs of the party itself.[24]

In April 2021, the Pakistan Democratic Movement issued show-cause notices to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Awami National Party (ANP).[25] Later on, the ANP withdrew from the PDM, saying that the movement was "hijacked" by some parties.[26] After a show-cause notice was issued to the PPP, it resigned from the Pakistan Democratic Movement and gave up all offices in the movement along with the ANP.[27][28]

Coming to power[edit]

The major success of PDM came after reportedly 20 plus members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf appeared on the surface in Sindh house on 17 March 2022. [29] Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf claimed that these MNAs are bribed and have violated article. [30] However, PDM refused these claimed and termed decision of dissent members as their own choice. Nevertheless, dissent members allowed PDM to negotiate with government-allied parties Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan and Balochistan Awami Party proving to them that the government has gone weak and PDM already has a reasonable number to win the no-confidence motion. Ahead of the vote motion Balochistan Awami Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan joined the opposition alliance on 29 and 30 March respectively. [31] [32] As a result of opposition alliance won the vote of no confidence with 174 votes without using dissent members and saving article 63(A) against them. [33] The tenure of Imran Khan as prime minister ended on 9 April 2022, while Shehbaz Sharif was elected as prime minister of Pakistan by the national assembly of Pakistan. [34]

PDM Gujranwala Maryam
PDM Multan Asifa Bhutto-Zardari

Notable leadership[edit]

List of prime ministers[edit]

No. Name Photo Date Party Elections
1 Shehbaz Sharif 11 April 2022 Pakistan Muslim League (N) No-confidence motion against Imran Khan

List of chief ministers[edit]

No. Name Photo Date Party Elections State
1 Murad Ali Shah 18 August 2018– Pakistan Peoples Party 2018 Sindh
2 Abdul Quddus Bizenjo 29 October 2021 – Balochistan Awami Party 2018 Balochistan


Name National


Main ideology
BAP Balochistan Awami Party
بلوچستان عوامی پارٹی
Khalid Hussain Magsi Social democracy
MQM Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan
متحدہ قومی موومنٹ پاکستان
Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui Muhajir nationalism
NDM National Democratic Movement
نیشنل ڈیموکریٹک موومنٹ
Mohsin Dawar Pashtun nationalism
PML(Q) Pakistan Muslim League (Q)
پاکستان مسلم لیگ (ق)
Shujaat Hussain Conservatism
BNP(M) Balochistan National Party (Mengal)
بلوچستان نيشنل پارٹی مینگل
Akhtar Mengal Baloch nationalism
JAH Jamiat Ahle Hadith
جمیعت اہلِ حدیث
Sajid Mir Ahl-i Hadith
JUI(F) Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam
جمیعت علمائے اسلام (فضل)
Fazal-ur-Rehman Islamism
JUP Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan
آجميعت علماء پاکستان‎
Shah Owais Noorani Islamism
NP(B) National Party (Bizenjo)
قومی پارٹی بزنجو
Abdul Malik Baloch Social democracy
PML(N) Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)
پاکستان مسلم لیگ (نواز)
Nawaz Sharif Conservatism
PMAP Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party
پشتونخوا ملی عوامی پارٹی‎
Mahmood Khan Achakzai Pashtun nationalism
QWP Qaumi Watan Party
قومی وطن پارٹی
Aftab Ahmad Sherpao Social democracy
JWP Jamhoori Wattan Party
جمہوری وطن پارٹی
Shahzain Bugti Republicanism

Senior leadership[edit]

Name Office Party Nick Name
Fazal-ur-Rehman President Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Secretary-General Pakistan Muslim League (N)
Mahmood Khan Achakzai Vice President Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party
Aftab Sherpao Senior Vice President Qaumi Watan Party
Hafiz Hamdullah Spokesperson Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam
Sajid Mir Member Jamiat Ahle Hadith
Akhtar Mengal Balochistan National Party (Mengal)
Nawaz Sharif Pakistan Muslim League (N)
Shehbaz Sharif Pakistan Muslim League (N)
Maryam Nawaz Pakistan Muslim League (N)
Marriyum Aurangzeb Pakistan Muslim League (N)
Rana Sanaullah Pakistan Muslim League (N)
Asif Ali Zardari Former Member Pakistan Peoples Party
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Pakistan Peoples Party
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf Former Senior Vice President Pakistan Peoples Party
Mian Iftikhar Hussain Former Spokesperson Awami National Party

No-confidence motion against Imran Khan[edit]

A vote of no-confidence against Imran Khan was held on 9 April 2022 where 174 members voted against him and removed him as prime minister. [33] Consequently Shehbaz Sharif was elected as prime minister of Pakistan. [34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Dawn (9 November 2020). "PDM to work on fresh 'charter of democracy'". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 10 November 2020. PDM secretary general and PML-N stalwart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi later told Dawn that the new charter would not be like the 2006 Charter of Democracy (CoD) signed between his party and the PPP.
  2. ^ a b "حافظ حمد اللّٰہ پی ڈی ایم کے ترجمان مقرر". Daily Jang (in Urdu). 28 April 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Democracy must remain supreme, says Achakzai". Dawn. 29 October 2021. Mr Achakzai, who is also vice president of the PDM, said: "The country cannot be run without providing justice. The holy Quran commands to do justice and fairness."
  4. ^ a b "PDM rejects electoral reforms, AJK results". The Express Tribune. 11 August 2021. The PDM chief said Qaumi Watan Party Chairman Aftab Sherpao had been appointed the senior vice president of the alliance.
  5. ^ "As elections near, major players steer away from PDM". Dawn (newspaper). 18 September 2023.
  6. ^ Hashim, Asad. "Pakistani politician released as opposition to continue protests". Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  7. ^ "In open show of dissent, several PTI MNAs found staying in Sindh House". DAWN.COM. 17 March 2022.
  8. ^ "Timeline of events on how Pakistan PM Imran Khan lost his post in no-confidence vote". Firstpost. 10 April 2022.
  9. ^ "End Of The Hybrid Regime: Here's Why Imran Khan's Ouster Is Good News For Pakistan". The Friday Times. 9 April 2022.
  10. ^ a b "What led to Pakistan PM Imran Khan's downfall". BBC News. 9 April 2022.
  11. ^ "Govt must accept its failure, announce fresh elections: PDM". The Express Tribune. 18 October 2020. Retrieved 1 November 2020. The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) spokesperson Mian Iftikhar Hussain said this in a statement on Saturday.
  12. ^ "PDM issues new schedule of public gatherings across country". 24 News HD. 5 October 2020. Ahsan announced that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was elected as general secretary of PDM. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was elected as senior vice president and Iftikhar Hussain was elected as secretary information.
  13. ^ "PDM to march against inflation". 11 July 2021.
  14. ^ "Who is leading the Pakistan Democratic Movement: Maryam Nawaz Sharif or Maulana Fazlur Rehman?". Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  15. ^ Wasim, Amir (31 October 2018). "Shahbaz asks PM Khan to elaborate who asked for an NRO". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  16. ^ Mahmood, Abid (5 May 2019). "No one asking for NRO, says Abbasi". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  17. ^, Nadir Guramani | (16 September 2020). "Opposition blocks another FATF-related bill in Senate". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  18. ^ "Opposition announces Pakistan Democratic Movement to oust 'anti-people' govt". Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  19. ^ Reporter, The Newspaper's Staff (21 September 2020). "Opposition parties form alliance to oust govt". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  20. ^ Tahir, Zulqernain (16 October 2020). "Stage set for PDM power show in Gujranwala". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  21. ^ Ellis-Petersen, Shah Meer Baloch Hannah (17 October 2020). "Pakistan's united opposition protests against Imran Khan's rule". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  22. ^ (13 December 2020). "PM Imran terms PDM Lahore public meeting 'pathetic', rules out NRO again". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  23. ^ "Opposition parties in Pakistan launch alliance to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan". The Economic Times. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  24. ^ Ali, Kalbe (30 December 2020). "Maulana Sheerani forms own faction of JUI". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  25. ^ Hussain, Javed (5 April 2021). "PDM issues show cause notices to PPP, ANP as opposition split widens". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  26. ^ (6 April 2021). "ANP quits PDM, says alliance 'hijacked' by some parties". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  27. ^ "PPP decides to quit all PDM offices". The Express Tribune. 13 April 2021. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  28. ^ (12 April 2021). "PPP CEC asks its members to resign from PDM". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  29. ^ (17 March 2021). "In open show of dissent, several PTI MNAs found staying in Sindh House". DAWN.COM.
  30. ^ (21 March 2021). "Explainer: What is Article 63(A)?".
  31. ^ (29 March 2021). "In a blow to govt, four BAP MNAs join opposition".
  32. ^ (30 March 2021). "It's official: MQM-P is no more with PTI".
  33. ^ a b "Pakistan PM Imran Khan gone after losing no-confidence vote". 9 April 2022.
  34. ^ a b "Pakistan: Shahbaz Sharif sworn in as new prime minister".

External links[edit]