PDM promises tit-for-tat response in case of hurdles in Lahore rally

Rana Sana says no opposition demand is unconstitutional, govt backers must accept public decision

By: News Desk      Published: 03:30 PM, 2 Dec, 2020
PDM promises tit-for-tat response in case of hurdles in Lahore rally

PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah on Wednesday said the Lahore rally would be held as per plan and vowed to respond to every hurdle created by the government, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

“They were ready to face the batons but would reply in the same manner,” he added and ruled out any possibility of holding talks with the PTI government.

Rana Sana was addressing a press conference in Lahore along with the provincial leaders of different component parties after a meeting that discussed the arrangements being made for the PDM public gathering.

Answering a question, Rana Sana asked the reporter whether he really believed that the PTI government was constitutional. The 2018 elections were managed and rigged, he asserted and repeated the demand for holding free and fair elections and respecting the public choice.

The demands put forward by the PDM were constitutional, he said and all the institutions should work within their respective ambit set by the Constitution. Nawaz Sharif’s narrative was about the supremacy of the Constitution, said the PML-N leader and stressed that the backers of the current government must also accept the public decision.

About the PDM rallies, Rana Sana stressed that holding peaceful protest was an accepted right in a democracy and it was the government, not the opposition, which had been resorting to unconstitutional ways and means.

When a reporter talked about the funds, PPP leader Chaudhry Manzoor intervened, saying that everything would become clearer about the sources when the verdict was issued in the PTI foreign funding case.

Commenting on the repeated claim that the PDM is seeking an NRO and wants to get rid of the cases, Rana Sana asked why they should not talk about the bogus cases and corruption references.

As Manzoor questioned why the NAB hasn’t come into action after the Supreme Court remarks about the Billion Tree Tsunami, Rana Sana said the single episode was enough to send everyone from Imran Khan and Firdous Ashiq Awan to jail.

Speaking on the occasion, JUI-F Secretary-General Abdul Ghafoor Haideri said the entire opposition was of the opinion from the very beginning that the PTI government was selected, not elected.

The PTI was in power only because of the backers’ support and had lost the number game in the Parliament, he remarked.

Haideri said the government was afraid that the opposition might make the hundreds of thousands of people attending the Lahore rally to march towards Islamabad.

On the other hand, Manzoor said the government had backtracked from every promise made before the polls and people from every walk of life – students, farmers and labourers – were on the streets.

The government was using brute force and fascist approach towards demanding their rights, he noted.

Meanwhile, Rana Sana – replying to a question – condemned the killing of Hayat Baloch in Balochistan and said BNP-M chief Akhtar Mengal had rightly mentioned that in his address at Multan rally as the incident was also reported in media. Such killings were unacceptable, he said.

Mir Kabir of National Party said it was just one of the similar killings and claimed that thousands of others could not be reported in media.

Alternate Venue

The opposition alliance has started thinking about using Taxali Gate as an alternate venue in case the government does not allow them to organise the rally at Minar-e-Pakistan [Greater Iqbal Park], reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

It is believed that it would be easier for the people and party workers to reach the Taxali Gate from every direction if barricades are installed around Minar-e-Pakistan.

Petition seeks ban on PDM rally

A petition was submitted in the Lahore High Court on Wednesday seeking court order against the upcoming protest meeting by the PDM in Lahore.

The petition, filed by Advocate Nadeem Sarwar, has made the federal government, NCOC, PDM, PML-N and PPP parties.

A health emergency has been enforced in the country in the wake of coronavirus, the petition said.

The PDM holding protest rallies despite the government’s ban on large public meetings, which are causing spike in coronavirus cases, according to the petition. “The PDM leadership is playing with the lives and health of the people,” the petition said.

The petitioner observed “The educational institutions have been closed and other gatherings have been banned due to the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.”

The petitioner asked the court to restrain the PDM from holding a public rally in Lahore and order legal action over violation of the government’s coronavirus SOPs.

The Lahore High Court had dismissed a petition of the same nature by the Young Doctors Association in October seeking court ruling to restrain protest activities by the political parties expected to risk the lives and expose thousands of people to Covid-19 pandemic.