- Maulana Fazl ur Rehman, Maryam Nawaz and other leaders to address PDM rally
- Rally will be taken out from JUI-F leader Akram Khan Durrani’s house to the Bannu Sports Complex
- Meeting being held at venue despite opposition by KP Sports Dept
The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) will take out a rally in Bannu today in an attempt to put further pressure on the government ahead of its planned long march.
PDM head Maulana Fazl ur Rehman and other Opposition leaders such as PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz, Aftab Khan Sherpao and Mehmood Khan Achakzai are expected to address the gathering. Farhatullah Babar is expected to represent the PPP at the rally.
According to the schedule, a rally will be taken out from JUI-F leader Akram Khan Durrani’s house to the venue, which is the Bannu Sports Complex, where party leaders will address the supporters.
PDM meeting in sports complex opposed
The rally is being held at the sports complex despite the reservations of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sports Department over the use of the venue as a public meeting.
A day earlier, the department had asked the Bannu administration to stop the PDM from holding the the public meeting at the Ziad Akram Khan Durrani Sports Complex, Bannu.
In a letter, the department said that holding political gatherings and activities should be banned in the sports grounds of the district.
According to the regional sports officer, development work was going on at the Ziad Akram Khan Durrani Sports Complex, including the construction of the tartan track and the venue would be damaged if a large number of people gathered at the venue.
Switching the venue
The PDM had earlier decided to hold the public meeting and rally at Lakki Gate in Bannu city but later, the venue was changed after it was expected that a larger number of people will take part in it.
Organizers have already set up the stage for the PDM leaders and seating arrangements for political workers and traders have already been made.
PDM to contest by-polls, will take decision on Senate election later: Fazl
The rallies have come up after last week’s PDM meeting in which the Opposition alliance announced that the member parties will take part in the by-polls, but a decision related to the Senate elections will be taken later.
The announcement was made after the PDM leaders held a meeting at Jati Umra in Lahore to make final decisions regarding the future course of action of its anti-government campaign.
Speaking to journalists, PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had said that the alliance is “stronger than before” adding that “rumours about conflicts within the platform are false.”
The PDM chief vowed that the alliance is ready, more than ever, to rid the people of Pakistan from the incumbent government, and reiterated that the government only has one month to resign, after which PDM members will start planning for the long march.
“We will decide whether to hold a long march towards Rawalpindi or Islamabad,” he had said, adding that the alliance will announce the date and venue soon.
Demonstrations outside ECP, FBR offices
Fazl had said that the PDM would announce the long march’s date later. However, before that, it would hold demonstrations outside the Election Commission of Pakistan on January 19.
Fazl also revealed that the 11-party alliance would arrange protests outside the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) offices.
Speaking further about the anti-graft watchdog, Fazl had said that it was created to “solely” target the Opposition.
“We cannot overlook Khawaja Asif’s arrest,” he had asserted.
Talking about his meeting with PML-F leader Mohammad Ali Durrani, Fazl had said that the latter had come unannounced.
“Ali Durrani presented the philosophy of national dialogue,” Fazl had said, adding: “I told him that negotiations were out of the question.”
Answering a question, the PDM chief had said that many of the decisions taken during the meeting prior to the conference are confidential, therefore, the alliance is not under any obligations to share everything with media.