PDM to Hold its Rally in Lahore as Scheduled

On Monday, the 11-party opposition alliance, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), announced that they will hold their rally as scheduled. On the 13th of December in Lahore, the PDM was supposed to indulge in a power-show. However, seeing the rise in cases all over the country, the government warned them against the breach of coronavirus safety SOPs.

In the past week, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had wanted to hold a public rally at the Greater Iqbal Park on the 13th of December. Thus, Rana Sanaullah asked for permission and was turned down by the deputy commissioner (DC) of Lahore, due to the second wave of the disease. 

After the alliance was turned down for permission, Qamar Zaman Kaira, a leader of the PPP stated that the government is only trying out different tactics to prevent the PDM from holding their rally. He held a press conference in which she called out the current PTI government. 

Kaira claimed that the citizens of Pakistan have grown tired of the current state of affairs and the ‘incumbent’ government. He went on to add that it is time for the leadership of the country to change hands. In his words, the PDM has formed various committees to plan and prepare for the upcoming rally in Lahore. She assured the public that the leaders of the alliance have reviewed the situation. 

The opposition alliance and the current PTI government have locked horns over the rally several times. The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, made it crystal clear that neither he, nor his government, will grant permission to the PDM to hold their public rallies anymore. He cited the rising cases of coronavirus and related deaths. 

The premier also added that cases will be registered against those who are involved in any way in the rally, such as the arrangement of a sound system and other logistics. 

Rana Sanaullah from PML-N accompanied Kaira in the press conference as well. He informed that the heads of the opposition alliance will get together on Tuesday to discuss various matters. According to him, the venue will also be visited. He further revealed that the rally requires complete preparation, including a sound system as thousands of people cannot be addressed without it. 

Muhammad Safiullah from JUI-F declared that the power-show will take place at ‘any cost’. In his opinion, this is the opposition’s way of honoring the vote. He claimed that when people show up to the rally on the 13th of December, the PTI government will see that they, as ‘incumbent rulers’ have been rejected by the citizens. 

Mudassar Riaz Malik, the DC of Lahore, reiterated that he cannot grant permission for the rally to opposition leaders due to the second wave of the coronavirus. He revealed that he had asked the PDM about the safety procedures being implemented but, had not received a satisfactory reply. Thus, he decided to reject their application for permission. 

The deputy commissioner went on to remind the opposition leaders that it was the PML-N government who had banned all public rallies from the Greater Iqbal Park, during its previous tenure.