Opp parties doing ‘reckless politics’ over people’s safety: PM Imran

Statesman Report

ISLAMABAD: Criticising the Pakistan Democratic Movement for its insistence on holding a jalsa despite rising coronavirus cases in Peshawar, Prime Minister Imran Khan accused opposition leaders of "playing reckless politics with people's safety".

"The same PDM members who wanted a strict lockdown and criticised me earlier are now playing reckless politics with people's safety," the premier tweeted early Saturday.

"They are even defying court orders and holding a jalsa when [coronavirus] cases are rising dramatically," he added.

Peshawar coronavirus

positivity rate at 13.39%

The premier was quoted Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar.

Umar, who also heads the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), had tweeted earlier that the COVID-19 positivity rate in Peshawar had touched 13.39% on Friday. He said there were 202 patients in critical care in the provincial capital, out of which 50 were on low flow oxygen while 134 on high flow and 18 on ventilators.

"14 new critical patients arrived just yesterday," he continued. "PDM response: we will be safe on the stage so who cares what happens to citizens."

Action against opposition

leaders if COVID-19 cases surge

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Special Assistant to KP CM on Information Kamran Bangash said the government was reviewing the security situation as well. He warned the opposition leaders and workers may be at health risk due to coronavirus if they go ahead with the November 22 public gathering in Peshawar.

Bangash said the opposition leaders were insistent on holding a rally in Peshawar because the city was PTI's strong-hold. "This is unfair to the masses. Recently, Peshawar High Court (PHC) chief justice Waqar Seth passed away due to COVID-19," he said. "If the cases rise, we will hold opposition responsible and take action against them."

PDM not backing down

The statements from the government came after the Opposition decided it would push ahead with the Peshawar jalsa at Peshawar's Dalazak Road, Ring Road Chowk despite the city administration denying permission for a gathering there on Friday.

The notification issued by the deputy commissioner's office said the matter was considered by the district administration and capital city police under Section 14 of the KP Civil Administration Act 2020. The government officials did a field assessment and held a meeting with the jalsa organisers.

But, citing a November 2 notification issued by the KP government banning large public gatherings owing to the rising coronavirus positivity rate in the community. U�zgk�~���