Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Saturday advised Opposition parties to avoid risking peoples’ lives by holding a large public gathering during a pandemic and resolve issues through dialogue instead.
Chief Minister Buzdar questioned why it is imperative for the Opposition to hold a jalsa when coronavirus cases are on the rise. “What is the emergency that you have to hold jalsas?” he asked.
He said the government will deal with the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in accordance with the law.
It may be noted here that the PDM is insistent on holding a rally in Lahore tomorrow [December 13] despite the federal and provincial governments denying permission for a public gathering citing the rise in COVID-19 infections.
Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed also criticised the PDM for going ahead with the jalsa despite knowing the dangers of the deadly virus and a threat alert issued by the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA).
“The Opposition, with its stubbornness, is heading towards a dead end,” he said in a tweet Saturday. He added that the PDM will face failure and PM Imran Khan will emerge victorious.
Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar also criticised the PDM for “blatant disregard for safety and welfare of people”.
“The ultimate aim of politics is to uplift, enrich and safeguard the lives of all people, not just political elites,” he said in a tweet.
Special Assistant to PM on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill argued that the government could not allow PDM to hold a public gathering as it violated court orders. He warned the Opposition that strict action would be taken against any violation of the coronavirus SOPs.
On the other hand, PTI senator Faisal Javed Khan challenged the PDM to resign from the Parliament within 24 hours, adding that the National Assembly speaker will accept them within five minutes. “These are not resignations. This is a joke.”
Faisal is referring to the decision by top leadership of the PDM to resign from the Parliament.
Earlier this week, PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman announced in a press conference that lawmakers from the 11-party Opposition alliance will handover resignations to their respective party heads by December 31.
The development came after a high-level meeting in Islamabad which was attended by former premier Nawaz Sharif and ex-president Asif Ali Zardari through videolink. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Maryam Nawaz and other party leaders also participated in the huddle.