Pak Opposition alliance PDM to stage its final rally in Lahore


PTI, Dec 13, 2020, 6:01 PM IST

Lahore: The Pakistan Democratic Movement, an 11-party Opposition alliance seeking the ouster of ”puppet” Prime Minister Imran Khan, is set to hold its final rally here on Sunday, despite a ban on the gathering of more than 300 people owing to an increase in COVID-19 cases across the country.

A number of workers of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) have reached Minar-i-Pakistan. They broke the locks of its main gate, placed chairs and have installed lights for Sunday’s much-hyped power show of the Opposition.

The rally will be addressed by the former prime minister and PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif from London, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, Jamiat Ulema Islam chief and PDM head Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

”The government has not given permission to the PDM to hold a rally at Minar-e-Pakistan Lahore because of the rise in COVID-19 cases. Action will be taken against those who will take the law into their hands,” Punjab Law Minister Basharat Raja said.

So far, police in Lahore have booked more than 3,000 workers of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for violating COVID-19 SOPs during this week’s meetings held here by its vice-president Maryam, he said.

PDM’s Minar-i-Pakistan public meeting will be the last one in its first phase of rallies that had begun over two months ago.

The PDM will announce the ‘decisive phase’ of its struggle against Prime Minister Khan’s government in this public meeting. The alliance has already announced that all Opposition parties will resign from the national and provincial assemblies to pressure the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government for fresh elections.

The long march towards Islamabad is also on the cards for the PDM.

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has asked the PDM to delay its Minar-e-Pakistan rally in light of ‘terror threat alerts’ and the coronavirus situation.

”I ask the Opposition to resolve issues through talks. Discuss their issues through dialogue and not by playing with people’s lives,” Buzdar said.

”The current coronavirus situation in Lahore is very grave and the positivity rate of coronavirus is more than 46 per cent and the Opposition should realise this,” he said.

Special Assistant to the Chief Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said in a tweet the government had intelligence reports that there was a threat to the PDM rally.

”If any untoward incident takes place at the PDM rally, the Opposition parties will be responsible,” she warned.

The Lahore police have also alerted Bilawal and Maryam about the threat alerts.

Maryam declared that prime minister Khan will be sent home in January in the wake of PDM’s protest movement.

In previous speeches from London former premier Sharif had taken on the Pakistan Army and the ISI chiefs for their role in imposing ”puppet” prime minister Khan on the nation and ending his government.

The PDM has been formed against the Pakistan Army’s interference in politics and installing ”puppet” Prime Minister Khan through a manipulated election.

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