Editor's Picks Pakistan

Stage set for PDM Lahore rally

  • PML-N leaders Marriyum Aurangzeb and Attaullah Tarar, along with other members, inspected the arrangements.

  • The Punjab government has not permitted the PDM to hold the rally in Lahore citing terror threat and the second wave COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The senior leadership of the PDM has been warned of a possible “terrorist activity” today.

LAHORE: The stage is set for the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s much-anticipated Lahore jalsa today where the organisers are giving final shape to the arrangements.

PML-N leaders Marriyum Aurangzeb and Attaullah Tarar, along with other members, visited the venue and inspected the arrangements.

The participants are enthusiastically chanting slogans, carrying flags, and warming up the atmosphere.  Sources have revealed that a bomb-disposal squad has also examined the venue and has greenlighted it as safe.

For other logistics-related preparations, a large stage is being set up on the steps of Minar-e-Pakistan for the leaders while chairs have been set up on the ground at the forefront. 

Moreover, generators have been hooked up and lights have been installed for the rally beside the all-important sound system for emergency power outage situations.

When will  PDM leaders reach the venue?

The PDM leaders will reach the Minar-e-Pakistan venue in rallies from different parts of the city. PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz has left Jati Umra in a rally while Bilawal Bhutto will arrive at the venue in a special truck.

The PML-N will also host a lunch for the PDM leaders today. Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Bilawal Bhutto, and other senior leaders of the 11-party Opposition alliance have been invited for it at the residence of Ayaz Sadiq.

Govt’s interference?

The Punjab government has not permitted the PDM to hold the rally in Lahore citing terror threat and the second wave COVID-19 pandemic.

However, no action has been taken by the provincial government to stop the rally participants. No containers have been set up on the roads, and no other obstruction has been put in place.

Meanwhile, government spokespersons said the law will come into force if the coronavirus standard operation procedures (SOPs) or the law are violated.

PDM has been warned of a possible “terrorist activity” 

 Lahore police have sent letters to PDM convener Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Maryam Nawaz, and lawmakers Khawaja Saad Rafique and Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.

“TTP terrorists are coordinating to carry out the terrorist activity on 13 December, 2020. Although details regarding the place of terrorist activity and likely targets are not available, the date (13 December 2020) appears to be significant as a huge public gathering is expected at Minar-e-Pakistan,” read the letter.

It states that after the terrorists failed in their attempt in Peshawar, “they are planning to shift their operatives, required material and logistics towards another place (most likely Lahore)”.

The letter warns that information available suggests that hostile intelligence agencies along with Afghanistan-based Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan have planned to carry out terrorist activities in Punjab particularly in Lahore.

A meeting was held on December 8 on the Western border to “upsurge (sic) terrorist activities in Pakistan”, according to the letter.

These hostile intelligence agencies “may also carry out assassinations of senior political personalities associated with PDM” to create instability in the country, it further warns

“Besides other targets, political and religious personalities or high profile figures of minorities in Punjab Province are on their priority list,” the letter adds.

Changes to the entry route

Sources said that the district administration of Lahore has changed the entry routes to the venue ahead of the jalsa.

 Per the new plan, Gate no.1 will be open to the public, while Gate no. 2 and 3 will be reserved for the VVIPs. Women participants will be allowed to enter the venue through gate no. 4 and 5.

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