PDM ready for Gujranwala power show amid blocked roads

By: News Desk      Published: 11:46 AM, 16 Oct, 2020
PDM ready for Gujranwala power show amid blocked roads
Workers hang posters of PML-N leaders on a street, as part of preparations ahead of an opposition rally in Gujranwala.–AFP

Amid the police crackdown on opposition leaders and workers as well as blocked roads, the leadership of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) is all ready to flex its muscles and set the tone for the anti-government drive by holding first of several rallies in Gujranwala on Friday (today), reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The government members are predicting a flop show citing lack of public interest, but the opposition leaders like Khurram Dastgir – a PML-N stalwart from Gujranwala – thinks otherwise, saying although his city was facing state terrorism, the rally would be a great success.

In a tweet posted on Friday morning, the former federal minister shared a list, which has already gone viral on social media, prepared by the traffic police, mentioning 31 locations in the city where roads would be blocked by placing containers.

As per the plan shared by the opposition parties, PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz will leave her Jati Umra residence to lead a rally towards Gujranwala, a known stronghold of her party. In this connection, a truck supposed to carry her has already reached there. 

It is not clear yet whether she would be able to pass through different parts of Lahore as the containers were parked two nights ago alongside the road leading to Jati Umra.

Meanwhile, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman will lead the Friday prayers at Jamia Ashrafia in Lahore before leaving for Gujranwala. However, it has to be seen if Maryam and Fazl will have a joint rally or opt for separate ones.

On the other hand, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will first hold a press conference at 2pm in Lalamusa before marching towards Gujranwala two hours later. His supporters will welcome him along the route at Gujrat and Wazirabad where he also expected to address the crowd.

Truck drivers gather around a traffic policeman after parking trucks that carry containers before a roadblock near the motorway in Lahore.–AFP

Commenting on the latest situation, PPP Central Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira warned that the party workers would remove all barricades and containers if the administration blocked the GT Road.

Similarly, PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said the government had blocked the roads after the failure to intimidate the opposition supporters and workers.

The remarks came as the police continued raiding, arresting and registering cases against the PML-N and PPP workers in different cities and towns.

On the other hand, arrangements have been finalised at Jinnah Stadium for the rally including an 80 feet long and 24 feet wide stage. There are seven gates to enter the venue with the people allowed to move in after 3pm.

As far as security is concerned, 500 Ansar-ul-Islam workers – an auxiliary organisation of JUI-F – will protect the opposition leaders during the event.

Meanwhile, any discussion about Gujranwala is incomplete without mentioning its wrestlers as several of them arrived at the Jinnah Stadium on Friday morning while chanting slogans against Prime Minister Imran Khan to further motivate the already charged PML-N workers who are performing their duties at the venue.

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Meanwhile, Muhammad Zubair – the spokesperson for PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz – told media persons at Jati Umra that Imran used to tell people not to panic but the time had come for him to panic.

PML-N MPA Bilal Akbar Khan is arguing with policemen deployed outside his dera in Narowal.

An incident in Narowal is enough to prove the point raised by these opposition leaders as police blocked the road outside the residence of PML-N’s MPA Bilawal Akbar Khan, meaning that he is stuck inside his home.