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Punjab govt to refuse PDM permission to hold jalsas in Lahore, Multan: Sources

Activists of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an opposition alliance of 11 parties, gather during the first public rally in the eastern city of Gujranwala on October 16, 2020. — AFP/Files

The Punjab government has decided that it will not allow the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to hold public rallies  in Lahore and Multan, adding that it will issue a written notification for the purpose.

Sources told  Geo News, a government spokesperson said that the decision has been taken in view of the growing number of reported COVID-19 positive cases in both the cities because of which banning public gatherings has become necessary.

“All relevant agencies and institutions have unanimously agreed to the decision,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying by sources, adding that the provincial government will take legal action against those who violate the orders and hold rallies without the explicit permission of the government.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Imran Khan also warned that Pakistan will be compelled to go into a complete lockdown if the coronavirus cases continue to surge across the country at the same rate, adding that the PDM will be held responsible for the consequences.

Taking to his Twitter account, the PM blamed the PDM for “deliberately endangering lives and livelihoods” by holding jalsas across the country despite the looming threat of the potentially deadly disease.

“Opposition is callously destroying people’s lives & livelihoods in their desperation to get an NRO. Let me make it clear: they can hold a million jalsas but will not get any NRO,” he tweeted.

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