Monday Nov 30, 2020
Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, the youngest daughter of former president Asif Ali Zardari and Benazir Bhutto, is leading the PPP rally to the Pakistan Democratic Movement's (PDM) jalsa.
The PPP is hosting the PDM jalsa at Qila Kohna Qasim Bagh Stadium. The gathering will also mark the party's 53rd foundation day.
Aseefa is standing in for party chairman and brother Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who tested positive for the novel coronavirus last week and is self-isolating. He will be addressing the jalsa via video link.
She landed in the city earlier today and headed straight to the Gilani House.
As per Ali Haider, PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz will be driving to Multan via GT Road. Scores of political workers will be waiting at Chungi no. 9 to welcome here.
The city administration has refused to grant permission for a public gathering planned by the Opposition alliance, citing the rising spread of the coronavirus.
An application seeking permission to hold the meeting on November 30 in Multan was filed by PPP leader Natasha Daultana.
Denying permission for the jalsa, Deputy Commissioner Amir Khattak cited Punjab government directives banning public gatherings of more than 300 guests until January 31 next year. He added that at least eight smart lockdowns have been imposed in the city to curb the COVID-19 outbreak.
On Sunday, the Multan district administration, with the help of police, expelled all opposition parties’ activists from the Qasim Bagh Stadium, the public meeting venue, and put locks on its gates once again.
A day before that, the PDM parties’ activists had broken the locks and occupied the stadium despite repeated warnings from authorities to not do the same.
Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani's son Ali Qasim Gilani and other activists were arrested by Multan Police for defying the law and cases were registered against hundreds of opposition parties’ activists.
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has warned the government to desist from carrying out a crackdown against PPP workers in Multan and other parts of Punjab "otherwise there will be protests in every nook and corner of the country", according to a statement by the party.
The PPP chairman said that there are reports that the PTI government is initiating a crackdown against party workers to "create hurdles" in the holding of PPP Foundation Day and PDM rally in Multan.
"Misuse of the state machinery against democratic workers will add fuel to the fire and every responsibility of the situation thereafter would lay on the PTI regime," read the statement.
Bilawal said the Foundation Day rally will be held "anyhow" and PPP and other PDM parties "won't be cowed down by the highhandedness of the regime".