The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) held a rally in Bahawalpur on Sunday as part of its second wave of protests for the resignation of the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) government.
The attendees to the rally include Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz and the Jamiat e Ulema e Islam – Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Fazl-ur Rehman. The Chairperson Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari did not attend the PDM rally. The PPP was represented by the former Prime Minister and PPP leader Yousuf Raza Gilani. The absence of the PPP leader comes after the minor rift in the opposition alliance over the issue of resignations from legislative assemblies.
Before the rally, the PML-N leaders gathered at the residence of MPA Malik Zaheer. From where the PML-N led a procession of its supporters though Bandra Bridge, Model Town C Chowk, Fateh Chowk, Model Town B, and reach Toll Plaza Sutlej Bridge finally joining the venue of the public address at Chowk Seraiki. Addressing party supporters there atop a container, Maryam asked them to follow her to Seraiki Chowk in the form of a procession.
During his speech at the rally, Maulana Fazl-ur Rehman said that the opposition’s struggle aimed to get rid of ‘illegal occupation’ in Islamabad.
Maryam Nawaz started her address by greeting the supporters on behalf of the Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. “I wonder what would happen if I were to redirect this storm, this sea (of supporters) to Islamabad,” she remarked regarding the number of supporters present at the rally, which she commented, “shows that the government’s days in power are numbered”.
“I feel your pain. Will the people of Bahawalpur make ends meet to feed their families, to pay their children’s fees, to pay utilities or pay for the treatment of the elderly at home?”
“This is why I want us to send this fake, incompetent prime minister packing who, after two-and-a-half years has thrown his hands in the air to declare he does not know how to run the country’s affairs,” Maryam said.
As the PDM staged its show in Bhawalpur, the local police have registered cases for violation of COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) against PDM leaders and workers. The police say the city’s administration has not granted the PDM permission to hold the rally. The organisers have been given a warning to cancel the rally.