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PM Imran heaps scorn on opposition ahead of Multan rally

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a series of tweets, lambasted the opposition on Sunday for persisting on holding rallies under the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) banner despite a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases across the country.

Highlighting the intensity of the second wave of the pandemic, the premier said the “problem confronting us in Pak during COVID 19 is of a political leadership that has never gone through any democratic struggle, nor worked with ordinary citizens to understand the problems they confront, nor contributed in any substantive way for betterment of ordinary citizens”.

The prime minister added that the opposition alliance’s “only goal is NRO at whatever cost to the lives of people & the country’s economy.”

 

He added that, In fact not only do these “leaders” lack any empathy with the masses, their families looted national wealth to further impoverish our masses. These entitled “leaders” living like royalty in their secluded mansions, have simply inherited their positions because of their families.”

The prime minister maintained that the opposition’s only purpose to hold rallies was to “save their families looted wealth & corruption of which they are an integral part. This is all that guides their politics, not any concern for the lives of ordinary citizens. Their desperation to get NRO any which way they can motivates them”.

 

Referring to the first wave of the virus, he further criticised the opposition parties for pressuring the government back then to impose a country-wide lockdown, while disregarding the government’s current ban on public gatherings.

“So, when we did smart lockdown to save our poor from becoming destitute & save economy from total collapse, these “leaders” opposed & demanded complete lockdown. Now, with new spike, when we again need smart lockdown, they want jalsas not caring for the lives & safety of people,” he observed.

The prime minister’s comments come a day ahead of the PDM’s Multan rally that has become the latest centre of attention. Scheduled to be hosted by the Pakistan Peoples Party, the gathering is to take place in the Qasim Bagh Stadium.

At least 25 activists of the PDM, including PPP’s Ali Qasim Gilani – son of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani -, were arrested on Sunday after clashes broke out again between the Punjab Police and the opposition alliance’s workers as they brought a crane to lift containers placed at the various entrances of the stadium.

The PDM workers and the city administration had clashed a day before as well as alliance’s members tried to forcefully enter the Qasim Bagh Stadium.

Moreover, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) police have also booked the PDM’s local leadership for holding its Peshawar rally last week, despite being refused the permission to do so owing to a rise in coronavirus cases across the country.

Special Assistant to K-P Chief Minister on Information Kamran Bangash told The Express Tribune that Covid-19 cases had increased after the PDM’s rally.

“Even PDM leaders have contracted the virus,” Bangash said in reference to Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Awami National Party’s Samar Bilour testing positive days after the rally.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari announced having contracted the coronavirus on November 26, 2020, and is self-isolating since.



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