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Pakistan opposition gears up for its sixth anti-government power show in Lahore

Pakistan opposition gears up for its sixth anti-government power show in Lahore

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Lahore [Pakistan], December 13 (ANI): Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), the country's 11-party opposition alliance, is all geared up for holding its much-hyped power show at Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore on Sunday, the last demonstration in the first phase of its anti-government rallies.
The PDM is expected to announce the 'decisive phase' of its struggle against Prime Minister Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in the public gathering, reported Dawn.
Ahead of the alliance's Lahore rally, Pakistan's federal government had adopted desperate measures to block the rally proceedings.
Last week, PM Imran Khan ruled out the possibility of the government granting permission to the PDM for holding the anti-government rallies, warning that legal cases will be lodged against organisers.
"We will file FIRs against everyone -- from the kursi wala to the sound system handlers but won't stop them [Opposition leaders] from going there," he said in an interview, Geo News reported.
The Prime Minister also blamed the opposition of spreading Covid-19 in the country.
Several political workers were booked and arrested ahead of the rally, while the PTI government flooded the Minar-e-Pakistan lawns in a 'failed effort' to stop the upcoming rally.
The arrests were condemned by Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Latif Afridi and former president Syed Qalbe Hassan on Saturday and called for the immediate release of all PDM workers.
Speaking on the release of water at the venue, Dawn quoted Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice-President Maryam Nawaz as saying in a tweet: "This action reflects the fear of Taabedar Khan (obedient Khan) that his government is being sent packing. The Lahore rally will be held and the government be sent home too."
This is the first time in the recent history of the country that the PML-N is going to hold a public meeting at Minar-e-Pakistan, the first rally at this venue for the de-facto president of PML-N, Maryam Nawaz, Dawn reported.
It will also be the first appearance of PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari at a political gathering in Lahore, who claimed that his party was fighting for democracy in Pakistan.
"We will restore real democracy in Pakistan. We want the people to decide about the economic policy and other policies of the country. We want people to decide their future themselves. We will install a people's government after dislodging this puppet and selected government. We will form a government which will fulfill the promises of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto," Dawn quoted the PPP chairman.
"No matter what the imposed regime of selected PM Khan does, Sunday's public meeting will take place come what may," said PML-N information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb.
On Saturday, PML-N workers had reached Minar-e-Pakistan, broke the locks of its main gate and placed chairs and installed lights at its ground. Some PML-N leaders also visited the venue and oversaw the preparations.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar asked the PDM to delay the Lahore rally in light of "terror threat alerts" and the persisting Covid-19 situation.
The alliance has also reportedly planned a long march in February if the PTI government does not pay heed to the pressure exerted by the Opposition. However, there seems to be no consensus regarding the resignations from national and provincial assemblies, as Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP) is reluctant to leave the Sindh government, according to Dawn.
A senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader said that the next phase of PDM's struggle would begin in January where the PDM has planned 16 more rallies.
The PDM has held five rallies in Multan, Peshawar, Gujranwala, Karachi and Quetta since October 16. (ANI)

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