LAHORE: Soon after the public meeting of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) at Minar-i-Pakistan on Sunday, Prime Minister Imran Khan lambasted the joint opposition for “endangering the lives of people during the Covid-19 spike” and reiterated that the opposition leaders would not send an NRO.
“Let me repeat once again: I’m never going to send an NRO. Whatever potential proposals for more PDM extortion might have, my message is categorical: no matter what strategies the looters concoct, there will never be an NRO from my government,’ the prime minister said in a tweet.
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“Pathetic, pathetic. By endangering the lives of ppl during COVID19 spike, PDM wasted too much money, time, commitment & showed absolute callousness, displaying the scant respect they have for the safety & well-being of people. All this just to blackmail me, he said in another tweet, to give them an NRO to preserve their stolen money.
The leaders of the federal and provincial governments of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) called the PDM public meeting a “flop show” and said the opposition’s narrative had been dismissed by the people of Punjab.
Thanks to the great-hearted Lahorites for opposing the opposition parties’ failed politics,” Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said in a statement.”
The people of Lahore have issued their decision by keeping away from the chaos-creating agenda of the PDM. The PDM should apologise after seeing the condemnation of the masses at Minar-i-Pakistan for indulging in divisive politics, he added.
Special Assistant to Dr. Shahbaz Gill, Prime Minister of Political Communication, tweeted: “Three-month campaign, Rs1.25 billion investment, 11 parties and a flop show.”
As its negative narrative bubble deflated, the PDM’s journey ended and Prime Minister Imran Khan succeeded in revealing the thieves,” he said in another tweet.
After the PDM public conference, Federal Information Minister Shibli Faraz said there were just 15,000 people on the show talking to a TV station. Sheikh Rashid, Secretary of the Interior, said it was the smallest political meeting at the historic site. Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and his special information advisor, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, stayed busy making comments during the day and later arranged a few pressers at the PDM rally.
Mr Buzdar, chiding the opposition leaders for “accumulating ill-gotten money,” said the opposition’s dream to have an NRO would never come true. He said the stubbornness of the opposition parties to hold public meetings in the middle of the coronavirus threat would only propel the virus to spread.
The chief minister said the nation would remember the PDM for its “save corruption” and “spread coronavirus” agenda, adding that as the citizens of Punjab, particularly Lahore, had rejected their politics, the alliance would miserably fail.
“The chief minister said in a tweet around mid-day, “How come those busy raising corruption money for the past 40 years are gathered at the holy place called Minar-e-Pakistan? “The NRO seekers put the lives of innocent people at risk while promoting their slogan of save corruption, spread coronavirus. The law will take its course.”
Mr. Buzdar said the admission of Covid-19 patients to hospitals has increased and the number of deaths caused by the virus has increased, but the opposition has been busy pushing its negative political agenda.
Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said the joint public meeting of the 11 parties had failed to balance the public meetings of the PTI.
She lamented that as it touched its height, the opposition parties had adopted a callous mentality by exposing individuals to coronavirus infection. By conducting the public meeting, you (PDM) have played with people’s lives and now must take responsibility for the increase in diseases and deaths of unwary individuals,” said the health minister.”
Dr Firdous Awan said the opposition parties had not stopped putting people’s lives at risk, adding that the law must take its course. She said the PDM public meeting organisers, speakers and facilitators will be taken to the book for the organisation of the unlawful assembly.
A few thousand people gathering at the public meeting of the PDM were expected to quarantine themselves willingly for at least three days, she said.
Dr. Awan said the government of Punjab had given the PDM free hand to carry individuals to its public meeting so that the coalition could be revealed on both fronts-the amount of individuals involved in its public meeting and its “corruption-covering” agenda vested interest.
“In her plan to create unrest, chaos and the law and order situation in Lahore, Maryam Nawaz has failed to protect the ill-gotten money of the Sharif family,” Dr Awan said.
Punjab Law Minister Basharat Raja and Dr Awan say that the country and PML-N staff were waiting for a long march to be declared, but there was no future plan for the PDM leadership to keep their “chaotic” campaign running.
Dr. Awan condemned Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party president Mehmood Khan Achakzai’s remarks against the Lahorites at a news conference after the PDM rally and regretted that the PDM leadership stayed tight-lipped and did not attack Mr. Achakzai.
She said the traitors must now be treated with an iron fist, adding that the joint opposition would not blackmail the PTI administration.
Dr. Awan said the leadership of the PDM had only induced coronavirus contamination to spread in various cities because most of the participants in the public meeting were from different cities. “To control the spread of coronavirus,” she said the government would adopt its “trace, test and quarantine” programme.