PPP leader Ali Qasim Gilani, 30 others arrested ahead of PDM rally
Multan [Pakistan], November 29 Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Ali Qasim Gilani and 30 other opposition members were arrested on Sunday ahead of the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) rally in Multan.
According to a report by Geo News, police in Multan filed a case against PPP workers after they broke through security barriers and stormed into Multan’s Qila Qasim Bagh on Saturday ahead of the PDM rally scheduled to take place there on Monday.
Their workers have taken control of the administration of the stadium and have also set up a welcoming camp outside, the Party media cell said. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz workers led a rally in Multan and also entered the stadium after it was broken into, the media outlet reported.
“The rally will be held in Qila Qasim Bagh (at every cost). Today all the barriers of the police and administration have been broken down. After storming the gates, we have taken control of the stadium,” PPP leader Musa Gilani said.
Geo News further reported that the police have registered a case against 70 named and more than 300 unnamed party workers for breaking off locks and forcing their way into the stadium at the Multan’s Lohari Gate police station.
The police also filed a case against caterers who had agreed to provide services to the organisers of the November 30 rally.
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari issued a warning to the federal government “to desist from carrying out a crackdown” against PPP workers in Multan “otherwise there will be protests in every nook and corner of the country,” as per a party statement.
The PPP chairman further slammed the government saying that the PTI government is initiating a crackdown against party workers to “create hurdles” in the PPP’s Foundation Day and the PDM rally.
“Misuse of the state machinery against democratic workers will add fuel to the fire and every responsibility of the situation thereafter would lie on the PTI regime,” read the statement.
Bilawal said that the Foundation Day rally will be held “anyhow” and PPP and other PDM parties “won’t be cowed down by the highhandedness of the regime”.
Eleven political parties have joined hands to form a new multi-party alliance under the banner of the Pakistan Democratic Movement against the government of Imran Khan.
Baffled by protests against his government, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said he would not give permission to the political parties to hold anti-government rallies in Multan and other cities due to spread of Covid-19.
The Prime Minister had also criticised the opposition for boycotting a meeting of the parliamentary committee on the country’s worsening COVID-19 situation and threatened to take legal action against them.