LAHORE: The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leadership Saturday said today’s (Sunday) public meeting at Minar-e-Pakistan would convey a loud and clear message to the government that people did not want it anymore.
They discussed and fine-tuned the strategy to make the rally at Minar-e-Pakistan a big success. They also discussed a plan to handle the situation if the government went for arresting the opposition workers.
The meeting decided that the PDM leadership would enter the meeting venue together. They will gather at the residence of Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, former speaker National Assembly, and leave for Minar-e-Pakistan in the afternoon.
The PPP and PML-N, the two major component parties of the PDM, directed their respective organisations to ensure that good number of people turn up at the venue.
Talking to the media after a meeting of his party’s delegation with the PPP leadership at Bilawal House here, Ahsan Iqbal said: “An error cannot be corrected through another error. The country cannot afford any test-tube system; this government will have to go, and the people of Pakistan should be given a chance to elect a government of their own choice.”
He termed the Imran Khan government the most corrupt, flopped and inefficient in the country's history. He said the minister for aviation deprived Pakistani flights of the landing rights in Europe to benefit foreign airlines, which caused huge loss to the country.
Ahsan said the PTI government had caused colossal loss to the nation in the LNG scam and it went for importing the furnace oil to benefit its mafias. He said the corrupt ministers might escape from the country and called for putting their names on the exit control list (ECL).
He urged the judiciary to take notice of the corrupt practices of the government. He said that under Imran Khan, the lives of people had become miserable. He said the government had become a security threat for the country and the only option left to protect Pakistan was to send it packing.
He said any joint struggle for the supremacy of parliament and the rule of law did not mean that the PML-N and the PPP had made an electoral alliance. However, he added, such an alliance could not be ruled out.
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said every segment of society, whether it was farmers, businesspeople, doctors, etc., had seriously been affected by the incumbent government. He said the PDM had been accused of violating the coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs). But, he added, in reality, it was the government which was not acting seriously. He said the PDM activists would follow all the SOPs and meet requirements, needed to protect themselves from coronavirus.
The PML-N delegation that visited Bilawal House included Senator Pervaiz Rasheed, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal, Khawaja Saad Rafique and Rana Sanaullah Khan. The PPP side included former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, former chairman Senate Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari, Sherry Rehman, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Sardar Latif Khosa and others.
Meanwhile, the PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb claimed that the Lahore rally will be held at any cost no matter how many cases are filed against the party leadership.
The PML-N spokesperson said that effects of Lahore rally can already be seen as government is conducting raids on houses of PML-N leaders.
Meanwhile, a large number of workers of different political parties in PDM forced their way into Minar-e-Pakistan ground and started arrangements for the PDM’s last show of power.
Sources in Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) said that political workers of PDM especially from PML-N and JUI-F started converging outside the ground near gate number 5 early Saturday morning.
Sources said early Saturday, the political activists broke the locks of the gate but security staff managed to stop them and placed new locks. However, the political activists again broke the locks and tried to enter the park but security staff again managed to stop them. Finally the political workers succeeded in breaking the locks and entered the park with vehicles carrying chairs, tables, lights, generators and equipments for stage.
Security supervisor of the park said that police were present on the site but didn’t intervene. He said an application has been submitted in concerned police station regarding forceful entry of the PDM leaders and workers into the park.
Meanwhile, smart lockdown was been imposed in areas adjacent to the Minar-e-Pakistan as the administration banned all gatherings besides closing all businesses and offices on Saturday.
According to a notification issued by Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department (P&SHD), Punjab, the localities in Rang Mahal, Sheranwala Gate, Mochi Gate, Shah Alam Market, Bhaati Gate, Islamia Park, Qasoor Pura, Badami Bagh and Ravi Road came under the smart lockdown. Coincidentally, these localities surround Minar-e-Pakistan situated in the Greater Iqbal Park, which happens to be the venue selected by the opposition alliance for its rally.
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