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November 29, 2020

Opp takes over Multan Stadium

Top Story

November 29, 2020

Ag agencies

MULTAN/ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: Thousands of irritated workers of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Saturday gashed all the locks of stadium gates, ransacked obstacles and occupied the PDM meeting venue at Qila Qasim Bagh Stadium.

The PPP Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani, ex-MNA Abdul Qadir Gilani, PML-N ex-MNA Sheikh Tariq Rashid were leading the mob and they set up PDM reception camps. They announced that the government did not allow the PDM meeting, but now the PDM would have to hold three meetings on Saturday, Sunday and final meeting on Monday. The PPP workers also fixed their private electricity generators.

The meeting place routes were sealed by placing containers, but the PDM workers crossed containers and entered the stadium after breaking locks of all the six gates. Heavy contingents of police were present in the stadium, but police did not interfere into the whole action. The PDM workers chanted slogans in favour of the meeting and said they would remain there until next Monday to ensure the PDM meeting.

Earlier, an aggressive youth gathered at Gilani House and took out a big rally, led by ex-MNA Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani and reached Qila Kuhna Qasim Bagh. Another big rally, led by the PML-N ex-MNA Sheikh Tariq Rashid, was taken out from the walled city and reached Qila Qasim Bagh. When both the rallies reached stadium from two different directions, small and big groups accompanied by hundreds of youth appeared from unpaved routes of Qila Kuhna Qasim Bagh and joined the rallies. Hundreds of workers were carrying sticks in their hands and the mob advanced towards the locked gates of the stadium.

Meanwhile, a big rally of clerics, led by JUI-F Secretary General Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri, also reached Qila Qasim Bagh. The numbers of participants turned into thousands.

The PDM workers announced spending two nights in the stadium to continue their possession and the whole meeting place would be illuminated with lights to continue political hustle and bustle till next Monday.

Meanwhile funeral prayers in absentia were also offered in the stadium for late Begum Shamim Akhtar, the mother of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif.

On the other hand police in Kahror Pakka, a town in Lodhran district, registered a case against PML-N MNA Abdul Rehman Kanju for organising a workers convention yesterday. According to police they are conducting raids and will soon arrest the nominated persons, who are accused of violating the coronavirus SOPs. But Kanju, in his reaction, said the PTI government had panicked, adding that the public meeting would be held at every cost.

Although the city’s main road is being closed and barricades placed everywhere it has been decided that 3000 members of Ansar-ul-Islam, a sister organisation of JUI-F will perform the security duties at Qasim Bagh Stadium.

The public gathering will mark the appearance of Aseefa Bhutto Zardari in the political arena as PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto could not participate in-person for being in isolation after getting infected by the coronavirus. Instead, he will address the crowd via a video link. In this way the main attraction of the day would be two women Aseefa and Maryam Nawaz.

Meanwhile PPP leader Kasim Gilani retweeted a tweet that says that the administration has started blocking all the entry points of the city and poured water in Qasim Bagh Stadium.

Reacting to the development the PML-N District President Mian Imtiaz claimed that the transporters were threatened that their vehicles would be impounded to stop them running their service for southern Punjab’s main city.

Talking to the journalists, PPP MPA Syed Ali Haider Gilani said the government barred PDM from holding a public meeting, now there will be three meetings. He complained the government has disconnected electricity connection of Gilani House. He said the PTI government had been deeply scared from the momentum. He said the PDM workers would guard the meeting place round the clock in the next two nights. Ali Haider Gilani said the government had failed to provide a single relief to masses and it became the most unpopular government in history.

Talking to journalists Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani said no one can stop PPP celebrating the party's Foundation Day. He said this is very shameful to the selected rulers. He said the Multan PDM meeting would break all the past meetings.

Talking to journalists at Qila Qasim Bagh the JUI-F Secretary General Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri said the ineligible and incompetent government has scared from PDM rallies, which reflected from placement of containers across Qila Qasim Bagh. He said the present situation indicates the government will have to go sooner or later.

Haidri said the JUI-F has taken out 15-16 million marches without hurting or breaking a single window pane. He said the PDM meeting would be held at Qila Qasim Bagh at any cost. He warned if the government stops JUI-F coming caravans, it would be responsible for the consequences. He warned creating hurdles in the way of PDM rallies would invite collision.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has warned the government to desist from carrying out crackdown against PPP workers in Multan and other parts of Punjab, otherwise there would be protests in each nook and corner of the country.

Bilawal said that there were reports that PTI government was initiating a crackdown against the Jiyalas, creating hurdles in the holding of PPP Foundation Day and PDM Jalsa in Multan. “Misuse of the state machinery against the democratic workers will add fuel to fire and every responsibility of the situation thereafter would lay on the PTI regime,” he said in a statement on Saturday.

Bilawal said Foundation Day Jalsa will be held anyhow and PPP and other PDM parties won’t be cowed down by the highhandedness of the regime.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Saturday said they are doing the job of the government to save the system from leaderless mobs. He categorically said the PDM meeting would be held at Qila Qasim Bagh at any cost on Monday.

Talking to The News here at his residence, he said thanks to PTI has created an environment by creating obstacles in the way of the Multan PDM meeting, which has helped to hold a successful show. He said that PDM has provided leadership to leaderless masses annoyed from the failed policies of the PTI government. He said the reliefless government has suffered the masses into a critical financial disorder of hike, inflation, joblessness, fuel hike, high electricity prices, flour and sugar.

He said, "Police have booked my sons, PPP workers and put them in police lockup. The administration and police have threatened Penaflex printers, printing press, caterers, loudspeaker shops and generator shops. Even hotels are threatened facing heavy fines on providing rooms to PDM leadership." Gilani said printing press owners are threatened with Rs1 million and paneflex owners with Rs0.5 million fine on printing PDM material.

Responding to a query he said the international standards of assessing the worth of the political party in power is the implementation upon the pre-election manifesto. When the performance of the PTI government is measured under that international standard and PTI has failed implementing upon its party manifesto. This is the reason why masses are participating in PDM meetings held in Karachi, Gujranwala, Quetta and Peshawar, he said. When asked about placement of containers across PDM meeting place, he said they have alternate strategy and the PDM meeting would be held as per schedule.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz said Saturday the rejected and corrupt opposition was bent upon endangering public life to protect their loot and plunder. He said that opposition is openly ridiculing law.

The minister tweeted, “What the rejected & corrupt to the core are doing in Multan , exposes their arsonists mindset who are bent upon to endanger poor people’s lives for nothing but to protect their loot & plunder”. He said

Meawhile, Lohari Gate police have registered a case against PDM workers on violating corona SOPs and taking rallies, breaking locks of stadium.

Police have nominated 70 workers and 300 unidentified workers in the case. The FIR said the PDM workers took out rally, ransacked public obstacles and possessed Qasim Bagh Stadium by force.