To hinder the previous PDM rallies in Multan and Gujranwala, the Punjab Government employed the usual modus operandi, arresting party workers and mid-tier leadership to drastically decrease rally attendance. However, this seems to have changed regarding the Lahore rally of the opposition alliance, with the government targeting rally organisers and contractors.
As of latest reports to The Correspondent, the police is now registering FIRs against those who can potentially provide logistical support to the opposition’s show of strength in the provincial capital, especially DJ systems owners who set up the entire sound system for public rallies.
Lahore is considered central to the heartland of PMLN support, where the party has consistently emerged as the largest political force in elections for the last 3 decades. The opposition alliance decided to hold its last rally in Lahore before marching to Islamabad against the government. FIRs against DJs also provide a political cover for the government, by maintaining the facade of allowing the opposition’s political activity while also undermining its success.
One FIR was registered in Police station Civil lines against some local PPP workers along with the chauffeur and company owner of major DJ system provider Malik Naeem. The FIR contains charges of 269, 270 and MPO 16 along with Punjab sound act 2015 (passed by PMLN Govt) and Punjab infectious disease ordinance 2020.
Although PDM Lahore rally has received a permit by the local administration of Minar e Pakistan Ground, it will be a hard task for the opposition to fill the space, especially in current circumstances; it would also be difficult to find a sound system provider which can function well in such a large area.