LAHORE: The Punjab government has decided that it will not allow the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to hold public rallies in Lahore and Multan.
According to sources in Punjab, the government will issue a written notification for the purpose. The decision has been taken in view of the growing number of reported Covid-19 positive cases in both the cities because of which banning public gatherings has become necessary.
“All relevant agencies and institutions have unanimously agreed to the decision,” the Punjab government spokesperson was quoted as saying by sources, adding that the provincial government will take legal action against those who violate the orders and hold rallies without the explicit permission of the government.
The PDM had previously issued its schedule for holding a public rally in Multan on November 30 and flexing its political muscles at Lahore’s Minar-e-Pakistan ground on December 13. The opposition alliance has also sought permission from the local authorities for public meetings in two big cities of Punjab.
It is pertinent to mention that amid the rising number of coronavirus cases in Peshawar, the district administration had denied the PDM’s request to hold a public gathering on November 22. The Covid-19 positivity rate in Peshawar has crossed the 13 per cent mark and allowing public gathering in this situation will ultimately risk the lives of the people, the local administration said in a letter dispatched to the PDM leaders on Friday last.
However, the opposition leaders decided against the advice by the authorities and held their political show amid fears of further spike in the coronavirus cases.
Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Imran Khan also warned that Pakistan will be compelled to go into a complete lockdown if the coronavirus cases continue to surge across the country at the same rate, adding that the PDM will be held responsible for the consequences.