ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: The government has decided against permitting the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) rally although it says it won’t put any impediment.
Minister for Interior Shaikh Rashid Ahmed criticised the PDM for going ahead with the rally despite knowing the dangers of the deadly virus and a threat alert issued by the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta).
“The opposition, with its stubbornness, is heading towards a dead end,” he said in a tweet. He added that the PDM will face failure and Imran Khan will emerge victorious.
In a veiled jibe at the PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz’s mobilisation campaign in Lahore, Sheikh Rashid wrote that leaders just give calls. “They do not need to extend invitations in every neighbourhood.”
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar advised the opposition parties to avoid risking peoples’ lives by holding a large public gathering during a pandemic and resolve issues through dialogue instead.
Buzdar questioned why it is imperative for the opposition to hold a rally when coronavirus cases are on the rise. "What is the emergency that you have to hold rallies?" he asked.
He said the government will deal with the PDM in accordance with the law. He said the situation of coronavirus pandemic is worsening day by day therefore government can’t permit public rallies under such circumstances. Special Assistant to PM on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill argued that the government could not allow the PDM to hold a public gathering as it violated court orders. He warned the opposition that strict action would be taken against any violation of the coronavirus SOPs.
Meanwhile, the PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan challenged the PDM to resign from the Parliament within 24 hours, saying that the National Assembly speaker will accept them within five minutes. “These are not resignations. This is a joke,” Faisal said while referring to the decision by top leadership of the PDM to resign from the Parliament.
Special Assistant to Punjab Chief Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the government didn’t allow PDM to hold public meeting in Lahore in the wake of alarming corona situation and security concerns in the city.
Addressing a press conference in Lahore, she said that the government didn’t put any obstacle in the way of opposition as per the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan. “Neither has any container been placed nor has any road been blocked,” she added.
She said that the government is not afraid of any PDM meeting as such meetings cannot topple the government, and in fact the government wants to expose the political strength of PDM to the public. She said that the Lahorites have already rejected corrupt PDM politicians and as per the strategy of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, the tall claims of opposition will be exposed on December 13.
She said that Maryam Safdar has no mandate to represent all parties of PDM as she is just a daughter of a convicted former prime minister. She said that Maryam Safdar took the path of confrontation and anarchy. She said the PML-N is moving forward with an agenda of chaos, anarchy and confrontation. She said that the desire of PDM to topple the government will not be fulfilled and the government will complete its term.
Dr Firdous said that opposition is doing politics at the cost of the life of the people and is totally unconcerned about the safety of the general public. She said that Maulana Fazlur Rehman has planned to use innocent children of madrassas for political purposes and gathered a private force to create anarchy. She said that the government has an eye on all the illegal activities of PDM and CCTV cameras have been installed on the route from Jati Ummra to Minar-e- Pakistan to keep the record of their activities. Dr Firdous said that opposition is making unsuccessful efforts to intimidate the government by holding the processions.
Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar also criticised the PDM for "blatant disregard for safety and welfare of people".
"The ultimate aim of politics is to uplift, enrich and safeguard the lives of all people, not just political elites," he said in a tweet.
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