LAHORE: Authorities in Punjab’s Mandi Bahauddin district have barred the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) from holding a public rally — scheduled for today (Sunday) — after denying permission to the party’s Vice President Maryam Nawaz.
Security reasons have been cited for denial of permission and the PML-N has been urged to consider another venue for the rally.
However, the PML-N has decided to hold the rally ‘under any circumstances’, with Maryam’s husband, Captain Safdar, having visited and surveyed the district. “Even if we don’t get permission, we will still hold the rally,” he said during his survey on Saturday.
Speaking to the media, Safdar said: “Niazi [Imran Khan] government’s time is up”.
“Maryam will start a protest against the government from Mandi Bahauddin. The July 7 rally is against those who have brought an inflation Tsunami,” he added.
Maryam’s secretary Saima Farooq said the government wants to stop the rally by employing dirty tactics. “The administration’s refusal proves that the government is scared of Maryam,” she added.
According to details, the district administration has refused permission to the PML-N and sealed the Quaid-e-Azam ground.
Water has also accumulated on the ground due to Friday night’s rain.
The DPO Mandi Bahauddin said permission could not be given due to security concerns. He said the PML-N has been asked to hold a rally outside the city in an open space or at Rasul road stadium.
Last month, Maryam had hinted at launching a mass contact drive to rally support against the Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaf (PTI) government’s economic policies.
Maryam on June 20 while visiting families of Khawaja brothers in Lahore said she was tasked by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to contact the masses.
She said the drive was not launched for the sake of Nawaz Sharif – who is currently in jail – but for the sake of people in misery due to poor governance.
According to party sources, Maryam Nawaz will be greeted by the workers on her arrival via the motorway at Salim Interchange in Sargodha. She will be taken to the venue in the form of a rally.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2019.