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November 22, 2020

PDM all set to stage rally in Peshawar today

Top Story

November 22, 2020

PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an alliance of eleven opposition parties, is all set to hold its scheduled public rally in the provincial capital today though the administration did not give it the permission for the public gathering due to an increase in coronavirus cases.

A large stage over a container has been prepared at Kabotar Chowk near Dilazak Road where central leadership of all the component parties of the PDM are supposed to sit and address the participants of the protest rally, which according to the organisers would commence from 11am.

After holding public rallies in Gujranwala, Karachi and Quetta, it will be the fourth public gathering under the banner of Pakistan Democratic Movement that had announced a countrywide protest movement against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government.

The stage has been decorated with party flags and banners of all component parties including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Awami National Party, Qaumi Watan Party, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, National Party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan and others. Similarly, Peshawar Ring Road and others roads and streets leading to the Kabotar Chowk have been decorated with huge banners, posters, and flags of the opposition parties.

“We will hold our scheduled public gathering in Peshawar at the same time and place on Sunday and workers and activists of the opposition parties would reach Peshawar on time,” Awami National Party general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain, who is also spokesperson for the Pakistan Democratic Movement, said in his Twitter message.

He blamed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for spreading misinformation and propaganda about the opposition rally in Peshawar, saying that if the government created any hurdles in their peaceful rally then the provincial government would be responsible for any unrest and disturbance.

Abdul Jalil Jan, media focal person for PDM Peshawar rally and provincial information secretary of the JUI, said that the volunteers of opposition parties would guard all the entry points to the public gathering and provide facemasks and sanitize the participants upon their arrival to the rally.

All the party workers and activists have been told to wear facemasks and sanitize their hands while participating in the PDM rally as a step to follow SOPs and guidelines to check the spread of the coronavirus, he said, adding that limited people would be allowed on the stage.

According to a press release, Awami National Party provincial head Aimal Wali Khan has asked his party worker to wear red clothes and caps while entering the PDM rally in Peshawar, claiming that the opposition workers would be outnumbered by the ANP workers and activists.

The ANP leader will lead a procession from Charsadda, his hometown, and also directed all the district organisations of his party to participate in large numbers in the PDM rally.

Qaumi Watan Party provincial senior vice chairman Tariq Ahmad Khan in a statement claimed that the QWP activists would attend the rally in large numbers while provincial chairman of the party Sikandar Hayat Sherpao would lead a big procession to the rally. “Our workers would follow the SOPs and guidelines regarding Covid-19 and would reach the venue at any cost,” he added.

On the other hand, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and ministers claimed that the coronavirus cases had increased in the province and had requested the opposition parties to postpone its public rally in Peshawar.

Provincial Minister for Health Taimoor Salim Jhagra during a news conference on Saturday said that the ruling party had suspended all public gatherings and political activities due to the second wave of coronavirus and requested the opposition parties to postpone their political activities.