26 November 2020
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The Pakistan Democratic Movement is gearing up for its rally against the government in Peshawar today [Sunday].

The rally will be held at Kabootar Chowk near Ring Road and will begin at 11am. According to reports, over 10,000 seats have been set up at the rally site.

An eight-foot long stage has been prepared for opposition leaders in the centre of the road. Four screens have been installed at the site and an audio system has been set up as well.

PDM’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa coordinator Abdul Jalil Khan told SAMAA Digital that leaders from all opposition parties such as JUI-F chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz, and PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will speak at the rally.

The traffic police of Peshawar have prepared a diversion route plan for the residents to prevent traffic jams and other inconvenience.

The rally is being held despite a threat by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to take legal action against the organisers given the rise in coronavirus cases.

Taking to Twitter on Saturday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the opposition was “playing reckless politics”.

The same PDM mbrs who had wanted a strict lockdown and criticised me earlier now playing reckless politics with people’s safety. They are even defying court orders & holding a jalsa when cases are rising dramatically. https://t.co/nc9KAN0Ihg— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) November 21, 2020

Other leaders such as Asad Umar, Fawad Chaudhry and Shireen Mazari also criticised the opposition over similar grounds.

In response, the JUI-F chief said that PDM will not back down and accused the government of using coronavirus as a tactic against the opposition. “This illegitimate government itself is a big corona,” he said at a press conference in Peshawar.

Pakistan is presently experiencing the second wave of the virus. In the last 24 hours, 59 people across the country died from the deadly virus. Over 2,600 new cases were reported taking the total number of cases in Pakistan to 374,173.

What is the Pakistan Democratic Movement?

The PDM, which comprises 11 opposition parties, has been staging anti-government rallies across Pakistan.

The first one was held in Gujranwala on October 16, the second in Karachi on October 18 and the third in Quetta on October 25. The movement’s fifth rally will be held in Peshawar on November 22, the sixth in Multan on November 30 and the last rally will be held in Lahore on December 13.

The opposition members said there should be accountability for anyone accused of corruption, not just the opposition. At the rallies, the opposition leaders also challenged the country’s powerful establishment, accusing them of bringing the PTI government to power through systematic rigging.

Abdul Gh Lone