Maryam mobilises Lahore ahead of PDM meeting at Minar-e-Pakistan
Draws huge crowds on way to Data Darbar
December 10, 2020 04:13 PM
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz addressed the last rally of the day at Data Darbar before concluding her full day public mobilisation tour of Lahore on Thursday.
Maryam reached different pockets of the Punjab capital as part of her efforts to mobilise the masses against the incumbent government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The rallies were meant to create a bit of hype about an upcoming public meeting of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in Lahore on December 13.
Address at Ichhra
Addressing the welcoming camp at Ichhra where earlier in the day police arrested several PML-N leaders, Maryam Nawaz welcomed the release of the detained leaders, saying she would have staged a sit-in outside the police station if the leaders had not been released by the police. “I salute you. You have done wonderful,” she paid rich tribute to the workers and local leaders.
The PML-N pice-president appealed the public to participate in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) rally on December 13 in which 11 opposition parties are going to hold a power show.
“Promise me, you will meet me at Minar-e-Pakistan and we will give a final push to the fake government,” she added amid an uproar from the crown.
Shanghai Bridge address
A similar reception was accorded to Maryam when she reached Shanghai Bridge at Chungi Amar Sidhu.
Maryam asked the people whether the time has come to send the bogus government back home and tender resignations from the assemblies, to which the crowd responded with a loud yes.
Despite all the claims and talk about not giving NRO, all of them are now looking towards only one person whose name is Nawaz Sharif, she said. “They used to say that Nawaz Sharif’s politics has come to an end.”
Speaking on the occasion, Khawaja Saad Rafique described the PTI government as thieves who, he said, should leave the office and stressed the need for giving respect to vote.
“Nawaz Sharif is the prime minister of people’s hearts,” he remarked and promised that the gates of prisons would soon be broken resulting in the release of the imprisoned opposition leader.
Sitting in the current assemblies was a useless exercise, said Saad and added that the country required supremacy of the Constitution.
Arrival at Gajjumatta
Maryam reached Gajjumatta, the starting point of her rally, where a charged crowd had gathered to welcome her. They showered rose petals on her vehicle, which has become a custom at the PML-N events.
On the occasion, the PML-N vice-president came out of the vehicle and climbed to the makeshift stage, waving and responding back to the party workers and supporters. Later, she also delivered a short speech to energise the crowd, asking them to attend the December 13 PDM rally.
As the people are gathering along the route to welcome their leader, a woman can be seen showering Rs100 notes on the crowd at one of the welcoming camps.
PML-N Vice-president Maryam Nawaz left her Jati Umra residence on Thursday afternoon for a rally planned to mobilise the public for the December 13 PDM public meeting, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The time had come for a decision, Maryam told media persons. “Support Nawaz Sharif and get rid of this repressive government.”
She also blasted Prime Minister Imran Khan for his NRO statements and vowed that he won’t get any respite from the opposition.
“There is a person whose name is Imran Khan. He continued saying for two-and-a-half years that ‘I will not give any NRO’. Now see yesterday’s newspapers. That person is now begging the PML-N and the PDM for an NRO,” Maryam added.
A large number of charged supporters and workers accompanied Maryam who will first arrive at Gajjumatta via Ring Road in Lahore. The rally will culminate at Data Darbar later in the night.
The rally began a bit late after 2:30pm although the scheduled time was 2pm. Around 15 welcoming camps have been established along the route which covers the Ferozepur Road – the busiest artery in the city as the PML-N leader will also address the party supporters at several spots.
Being the biggest crowd puller currently in the country, the PML-N vice-president is actively participating in the mobilisation campaign for the December 13 public gathering under the banner of PDM.
Maryam had earlier travelled through the northern parts of the city on Monday while passing through Daroghawala, Shalimar Chowk, Garhi Shahu, Tajpura, Badami Bagh and Shahdara. During the process, Maryam had also addressed the PML-N supporters in different areas as the people gave a tremendous response by gathering in thousands along the rally route.
But as the PML-N was getting for the Thursday’s rally, police earlier in the day arrested two local leaders who were making preparations for the purpose.
The police made these arrests at Ichhra where Syed Tausif Shah and Chaudhry Baqir were busy in preparing the welcoming camp by placing a container on the service road along the Ferozepur Road – the city’s busiest artery.
Later, the two PML-N leaders were shifted to the Ichhra Police Station as another active party member Syed Waseet Shah reaffirmed that such tactics won’t frighten them.
Commenting on the move, PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb told media that the Thursday’s rally would be held despite the arrests and intimidation.
Noting that they are not afraid of arrests and cases, she remarked that they would wear the FIRs as a badge of honour.
Blasting the government with a special reference to the arrest of DJ Butt, Marriyum said the country’s prime minister was busy in fighting those supplying chairs and sound system to the opposition. “Imran Khan is in competition with DJ Butt, not the PDM,” she added.
PDM Ready to Take Over Minar-e-Pakistan
Despite registration of cases and arrests, the opposition is defiant and ready for a showdown as the PDM leaders will enter the Minar-e-Pakistan later in afternoon to make arrangements for the December 13 rally.
According to details, the provincial leadership of the PDM’s component parties will enter the venue and would stay there till the completion of this rally.
It would be a repeat of what happened in Multan where the opposition workers and leaders led by the sons of former premier Yousaf Raza Gillani had removed all the barricades and forced their way into the Qasim Bagh Stadium.
Although the district administration had later taken over the control back, but the venue was later opened for the opposition on November 30 – the very day the rally was to be held.
However, the PDM had decided against staging the gathering in the Qasim Bagh Stadium as they could not make any arrangements for sound system and lighting. Instead, the rally was held outside on the road – Chowk Ghanta Ghar which is one of the busiest crossings in the city.
One doesn’t know what is going to happen on December 13 but it was earlier reported that the PDM had already started considering Taxali Gate as an alternate location. However, it hasn’t been confirmed at official level by any of the opposition party or leader.
Earlier on Tuesday, the government employed the decades-old formula and watered the Greater Iqbal Park where the Minar-e-Pakistan is located.
And just a few hours later, Firdous Ashiq Awan – special assistant to the Punjab chief minister – claimed at a press conference that the government won’t create any hurdles in holding the event.
When a reporter asked her about pumping water into the ground, Awan described it as some negligible and asserted that law would come into action if the coronavirus SOPs were violated.