Peshawar rally: PDM, Govt at loggarheads


Tariq Saeed

Tension griped the provincial metropolis Peshawar where both the government and opposition are flexing their muscles, to show their strengths in the wake of the proposed Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) rally in the outskirts of the City today.
While the Provincial Government is determined not to allow the opposition to hold rally in the wake of Corona virus surge in the country, the PDM leadership has also vowed to hold the public meeting, scheduled to be addressed by top leaders of the alliance including Maryam Safdar and Bilawal Bhutto, come what may.
The head of the 11-party’s opposition alliance Maulana Fazal ur Rehman addressing a press conference in Peshawar Saturday announced to hold the rally in defiance of all government warnings saying “A historic rally will take place tomorrow in Peshawar and the next rally will be held on November 26 in Larkana to be hosted by with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam”.
A notification issued on Friday by the Peshawar deputy commissioner’s office said the matter was considered by the district administration and capital city police under Section 14 of the KP Civil Administration Act 2020.
In a letter addressed to the organizers of the rally the officials said ceremonies and public gatherings are to be avoided in the wake of alarming surge in Covid-19 the positivity rate of which in Peshawar has crossed 13 per cent mark and allowing public gathering in this situation will ultimately risk the lives of the people adding “The local authorities regret to inform that permission for the said event has not been granted to the opposition parties”.
However, the Opposition has decided it will push ahead with the Peshawar plan and hold rally at Ring Road Chowk despite the city administration denying permission for a gathering there come what may. The PDM leadership directed the party workers to get ready for November 22 (today’s) rally adding the PDM will definitely hold public gathering in Peshawar as per given schedule.
While the Peshawar administration has made arrangements and directed the law enforcers to thwart holding of public meeting, the workers of the 11 party alliance specially the PPP, JUI, PML-N and ANP have also completed their homework to reach the meeting venue by hook or the crook and breaking all the barriers. Small corner meetings were held Saturday by the local leadership of the opposition parties taking pledge from their supporters to reach the venue at any cost even if they have to clash with the law enforcers.
The Maulana from DI Khan who is heading the Pakistan Democratic Movement Saturday said that the time has come for “Pakistan’s Trump” to be “removed” from office. He was referring to Prime Minister Imran Khan adding “This government is the representative of a stolen mandate. It is not the representative of the people.”
Fazal also vowed not to allow the government to rest at any juncture and continue the struggle till the ouster of the present regime. The PDM chief said that the Opposition’s campaign against the government had reached its peak adding that the organizational structure of the movement was now complete.
Now, weither the government succeeds in thwarting opposition attempts to hold rally in Peshawar today, or the opposition manages to frustrate administrations move and muster big crowd at the proposed venue of the meeting , the ultimate sufferers would remain the dwellers of Peshawar where the routine life will come to halt owing to blockage of various roads and rowdyism by some trouble makers among the supporters of various parties. With the enforcers determined not to allow the holding of rally at any cost and opposition’s stubbornness to show their strength in Peshawar in defiance of the ban on rallies at all costs, the city is feared to be wearing a look of battlefield today.

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