Pakistan — Opposition Defy Ban, Virus, to Hold Rally

  • The presence of Asifa Bhutto Zardari, the youngest daughter of PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, at the meeting is being seen as the beginning of her political career.
  • The PDM has held meetings in Gujranwala, Karachi, Quetta, and Peshawar, while today is their fifth meeting.
  • The government had banned rallies and processions in view of the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Despite the second wave of coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan, the anti-government coalition Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has started a rally at Ghanta Ghar Chowk, in Multan, to demonstrate its political strength. Co-chairman Bilawal Bhutto’s sister, Asifa Bhutto, delivered a speech, and a large number of people were present.

Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leaders

Earlier, addressing a rally on the occasion of the founding day of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the Pakistani Muslim League (Nawaz) leader, Maryam Nawaz, congratulated the PPP, and said that she and PPP co-chairman Bilawal Bhutto’s sister Asifa Bhutto has left her home for the rights of Pakistanis.

Maryam Nawaz said that despite the death of her grandmother a few days ago, she was attending the meeting because the pain of the people was more than her personal pain.

It should be noted that PDM chief and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman, PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto’s sister, Asifa Bhutto, and other leaders were present at Ghanta Ghar Chowk, in Multan. The presence of Asifa Bhutto Zardari, the youngest daughter of PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, at the meeting is being seen as the beginning of her political career.

The government did not allow the PDM to hold a rally at Qasim Bagh Stadium, in Multan, in view of the increase in Coronavirus cases. However, the PDM parties were adamant to hold a rally in any case.

So far, the PDM has held meetings in Gujranwala, Karachi, Quetta, and Peshawar, while today is their fifth meeting. Multan city administration has deployed a large number of police personnel at Ghantaghar Chowk, and sealed the stadium and Ghantaghar Chowk, while the police have locked Qasim Bagh Stadium.

Shops, business centers, and Multan Metro bus service at Ghanta Ghar Chowk will also remain closed to deal with the untoward incident in the city. Barriers have also been set up on the entrances of Multan city, while only vehicles were allowed to enter the city after checking.

It may be recalled that the government had banned rallies and processions in view of the spread of coronavirus in the country. However, the PDM had earlier held a rally in Peshawar without permission.

Anti-government coalition Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has started a rally at Ghanta Ghar Chowk.

What is the PDM?

The Pakistan Democratic Movement is an alliance of 11 political parties formed after the September 20 opposition all-party conference that will seek to replace the government through a three-phase anti-government movement.

Under the PDM’s action plan, the coalition will hold nationwide public rallies, protests, rallies in December, and a “decisive long march” towards Islamabad in January 2021.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman is the first president of the PDM, Raja Pervez Ashraf of the PPP is the senior vice president, and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of the PML-N is its secretary general.

This alliance of 11 opposition parties includes the main opposition parties, Pakistan Muslim League (N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), and other parties. However, Jamaat-e-Islami is not part of this alliance.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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