Scores of PDM activists take over venue for Nov 30 Multan rally despite obstacles
Statesman Report
MULTAN: Hundreds of activists of the PPP and PML-N on Saturday overcame containers and obstacles set up by Multan authorities to reach the venue of the opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement's (PDM) November 30 public gathering.
Police and the district administration had placed at least 30 containers around the venue, Qila Kohna Qasim Bagh Stadium, and more were being brought in to block roads leading to the city. Police was also deployed outside the stadium as part of efforts to stop the PDM rally.
But on Saturday, hundreds of PPP activists reached the venue in the form of a rally led by former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani's son, Ali Musa Gilani, and broke the stadium's gate to enter and set up a camp there. They are expected to make preparations for the Nov 30 public gathering.
PML-N workers arrived at the stadium as a group led by Abdul Rehman Kanju.
The government and opposition have been at odds over the holding of public rallies at a time when Pakistan is in the throes of a second coronavirus wave. The Multan district administration has refused permission for the Nov 30 rally citing the high incidence of coronavirus infections.
Nonetheless, trucks carrying equipment could be seen arriving at the venue on Saturday and the stage was being prepared.
"The government can do whatever it wants to; the jalsa will end up taking place," Ali Musa Gilani and Haider Gilani told supporters.
"This is the plan A, B and C," added Musa.
PPP activists first gathered at the Gilani House for a workers convention from where they left for the venue in the form of a rally. They faced little resistance in entering the stadium from police personnel, who appeared unprepared for the situation.