PDM leaders in Karachi as second power show unfolds
Maryam visits Mazar-i-Quaid, says not afraid of arrest: Fazl visits Zardari in hospital
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As the leaders and workers of the Opposition alliance – Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – picked up their feet to reach the venue of their second power show in Karachi Sunday evening, PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz was the focus of everyone’s attention ever since she landed at the Karachi Airport earlier in the day.
After the mega-success of power showdown in Gujranwala two days ago, the PDM has fully geared up again for its second show of power, to be hosted by PPP as it commemorates the 13th anniversary of the Karsaz blasts, in Karachi.
Sunday’s power show at the Bagh-i-Jinnah, in front of the Quaid’s mausoleum, will be addressed by the top PPP leadership. The rally will also be attended and addressed among others by Maryam Nawaz and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
The PPP, the ruling party in Sindh, expects a smooth sailing for the Karachi rally with huge presence of workers. PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also paid the venue a visit a day ago to oversee the preparations, where he was briefed by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah as well as PPP's Karachi president, also the provincial labour minister, Saeed Ghani.
PML-N Vice-President reached Karachi after midday to participate in the Opposition's second jalsa. She was received by a big crowd of party supporters gathered outside the airport. PPP’s Shehla Raza was also among those who received her at the airport. Maryam was accompanied by party's spokesperson Murriyam Aurangzeb as well as Capt (retd) Safdar, and PPP central leader Qamar Zaman Kaira on the flight.
From the airport, Maryam Nawaz drove in a caravan to the mausoleum of the father of the Nation Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah from where she will straight go to the rally venue.
In the build-up to the evening show, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman who reached Karachi on Saturday, visited Ziauddin Hospital on Sunday and inquired after the health of PPP Co-Chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari.
Addressing newsmen, Sindh Local Government and Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah said that Sunday’s show will be huge. “He said the federal government is making the institutions controversial. Due to the government’s incompetence, Pakistan has been facing isolation at the international level.”
He said the government ministers levelling baseless allegations against the opposition leaders in order to hide their ill-performance. “The ‘selected’ team is more dangerous than coronavirus,” he added.
Talking to newsmen as she left Jati Umra for Lahore Airport en route to Karachi to attend PDM’s second power show, Maryam Nawaz declared that she was not afraid of arrest. She said she and her party leaders are not scared of being sent to jail.
Maryam said the protest campaign against the PTI government is entering a decisive phase.
When asked about the prime minister’s decision not to issue production orders for the lawmakers, the PML-N vice-president maintained that those who think that VIP protocols are being given to the political leaders in jails are wrong.
While responding to a question about Imran Khan’s dubbing the Gujranwala rally a circus, Maryam Nawaz hit back at the prime minister, saying "It was a speech of a defeated person. Mian Nawaz Sharif did not even address the prime minister; he had said this 'game' is above you (Imran Khan) and you should stay out of it."
The PML-N vice-president said, "The government is unable to see things right now, but it will all be clearer to them in a few days."
Earlier, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said that Imran Khan’s political makeup has vanished totally and his real face a Musharraf (hidden in him) has come to the fore.
In a statement, Marriyum Aurangzeb said the two children Imran Khan talked about in his speech (Maryam Nawaz and Bilawal Bhutto) had put him at his wit's end (Naani yaad kara di).
The PML-N spokesperson said Imran Sahib’s speech was really pitiable. It was crystal clear from his speech that somebody had got over his nerves, she added.
A 160 feet long and 60 feet wide stage has been erected at Karachi’s Jinnah Bagh, the ground next to Quaid-e-Azam’s mausoleum, while over 50,000 chairs have also been arranged to facilitate the participants.
Over 4,000 policemen have been deputed for the security of the rally and the organisers have arranged 100,000 masks for participants. Seats have also been placed at a distance from each other to ensure social distancing.
Four gates have been set up at the venue—one for PDM leaders, one for women, one for political workers and one for the media. The federal government has issued a No Objection Certificate for the rally but warned that the permission could be revoked at any time for any reason. The rally has to finish before midnight.
Three stages have been set up—one for the main PDM leaders and two for senior leaders of opposition parties. Each stage is 160 feet long, 20 feet high and 50 feet wide. Barbed wire has been placed around the main stage where the PDM leaders will sit.
The PDM, which is comprised of 11 opposition parties, has vowed to stage rallies across the country to begin a movement against the government. Its first rally was in Gujranwala on October 16 which to be a mega-hit show.