ISLAMABAD: Despite the Pakistan government's ban on holding public rallies in the wake of the unabated COVID-19 pandemic, the PDM opposition alliance staged its fifth power show in Multan which called for the ouster of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The Multan district administration had refused permission for Monday's rally citing the high incidence of coronavirus infections, The Express Tribune reported.
Police and the district administration also placed several containers around the venue, Qila Kohna Qasim Bagh Stadium, to block its access.
However, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an alliance comprising 11 of the country's opposition parties, refused to back down and went ahead with the power show.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz, PDM and Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Balochistan National Party (BNP-M) President Sardar Akhtar Mengal, former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, were some of the top leaders in attendance.
While Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari did not attend the rally since he tested positive for the novel coronavirus, his sister Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari marked her political debut and attended the gathering.
While addressing the participants, Maryam Nawaz said the "selected government" was using the pandemic as an excuse to muzzle the opposition parties' movement, The Express Tribune reported.
"They don't want to impose lockdown to contain coronavirus but to contain opposition parties," she said. Aseefa, in her maiden address, said the public has given its verdict and the "selected will have to go now".
Meanwhile, the JUI-F chief also urged his party workers to attend the PDM's Lahore rally on December 13 in large numbers, which will be the final face-off between the government and opposition before a likely march towards capital Islamabad.
The four earlier PDM rallies were held on October 16 in Gujranwala, October 19 in Karachi, October 25 in Quetta and November 22 in Peshawar. (IANS)
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