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January 20, 2021

Sh Rashid dares PDM: Go ahead with your long march now

Top Story

January 20, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Shaikh Rashid Ahmad Tuesday said the PDM’s limited public gathering of around 3,000 in front of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had exposed the opposition parties’ actual following.

Addressing a press conference here, he dared the opposition parties to announce their much-awaited long march that was their last option against the government. “Their long march will also meet the fate of today’s show of power,” he said. He said not a single container was placed anywhere to hinder the PDM rally, while the police too did not stop even a single protester despite high alert.

“They were given a free hand to enter the Red Zone, rather their supporters were encouraged to join their leaders, but the PDM leadership could manage only a flop show,” he said.

“As per media reports, only 2,000 to 3,000 people participated in the protest, which shows their level of popularity,” he continued.

“Now we are waiting to welcome their long march, which will be their last ditch effort to convince the government for getting an NRO. Go ahead with your long march. I urge you to not wait any further. During your rally, even the metro bus was running," he continued.

He appreciated the efforts of Islamabad and Rawalpindi administrations and police for ensuing foolproof security during the PDM protest.

Shaikh Rashid said the opposition parties under the leadership of Fazlur Rehman and Maryam Nawaz should be very clear that Prime Minister Imran Khan will never give them NRO at any cost and they should better stop implementing their anti-Pakistan agenda. He asked the PDM leadership to stop targeting those who were safeguarding the motherland.

"This was a gathering of people who are hungry for power," Rashid said, adding that opposition parties had again "betrayed" the JUI-F head. Replying to a question, he said an inquiry committee had been constituted to investigate the Broadsheet matters. He said Fazlur Rehman was trying to instigate the seminary students to take up arms against the state. He said the Broadsheet verdict was second Panama for Sharifs.

Meanwhile, the interior minister Tuesday called on Prime Minister Imran Khan to apprise him of the security plan for the PDM protest outside office of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Imran directed him to maintain law and order in any case. He also allowed Shaikh Rashid to skip the federal cabinet meeting.

On the other hand, Shaikh Rashid Ahmad has decided to personally monitor the situation.

A control room has also been established at the interior ministry.

“Everything will be monitored to ensure peace and order in the federal capital,” Shaikh Rashid said.

All entry and exit points of the city will be strictly observed by cameras. The demonstrators are allowed to stage non-violent protest and it is the first time that any demonstration is permitted on Shahra-e-Dastoor. Hopefully, the PDM will remain peaceful, he added.