• Leaders converge on Balochistan capital for power show today
• Maryam says govt will be responsible for any security lapse
QUETTA / KHUZDAR: While the Balochistan government on Saturday banned pillion riding in Quetta under Section 144 of the criminal procedure code, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leadership said the government was afraid of the success of the opposition’s public meetings.
PDM president Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz declared that Sunday (today’s) event would not be postponed as it was Balochistan government’s responsibility to provide complete security to the public meeting in Quetta.
The administration should go home if it could not do its job, the JUI-F and PML-N leaders announced in separate remarks after their arrival here in Khuzdar and Quetta, respectively.
Official sources said: “On the arrival of Mr Mohsin Dawar at the Quetta airport, security officials took him into custody and informed him about a ban on his entry in Quetta.”
The sources said Mr Dawar, an MNA from the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement, was asked to take next flight and return though the flight that brought him from Islamabad was the last flight on Saturday.
When security officials asked Mr Dawar to shift to a rest house till the next flight, he refused to leave the airport.
In the meantime, a number of PTM supporters gathered at the airport, blocked traffic on the main road and chanted slogans against the government. Home Minister Ziaullah Langove confirmed that there was a ban on MNA Dawar’s entry. The ban is set to expire on October 29.
While claiming that the people of Pakistan came out first time after breaking the chains of fear for the restoration of democracy and rule of Constitution, PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz declared the PDM would not postpone its public meeting in Quetta due to security threats, asking the government if the ‘threat’ would be over with the postponement of the public meeting.
However, she said, “If something happens, the provincial government will be responsible for it.”
After arriving here in Quetta on Saturday, the PML-N leader expressed these views while talking to the media and party leaders at the residence of Balochistan PML-Q president Sheikh Jaffar Khan Mandokhail, who quit his party to join her party on the occasion. She welcomed Mr Mandokhail, who had been elected six times in the past and served as provincial minister, back into the party.
The alliance leader said the PDM had challenged Mr Khan’s dictatorial attitude. He was afraid of Gujranwala and Karachi big public meetings, she said, adding that he might resign from the premiership by January 15, 2021.
Referring to restrictions on broadcasting the speech of party supremo and former premier Nawaz Sharif, Maryam said his slogan was echoing in every corner of the country. She termed his speeches an ‘eye-opener’ and said ‘some people’ must be afraid of the overwhelming response to his narrative. She said the deposed PM only mentioned the “state above the state” in Gujranwala address but the nation witnessed its practical demonstration just a few days later in Karachi. “The way the IG (inspector general) was kidnapped, the way they raided the hotel and my room. The people of Balochistan can understand what the mental condition of your opponent is when the rooms of the nation’s daughters and sisters are broken into. They gave a practical demonstration of what a state above a state is.”
She also criticised PM Khan for what she said ‘completely disappearing’ from the scene after the demonstration of a ‘state above the state’.
The PML-N leader alleged that Mr Khan leveled allegations against the opposition but he did not know what happened in the ‘Karachi incident’ or ‘who’ did it. She said the Sindh police not only exposed the plot but also defeated such tactics by submitting applications for leave in protest. She said her party respected the police officers even if the federal government did not.
She said the ‘selected’ Imran-led government would have lasted longer if it had served the people instead of blaming the opposition for everything, “but it adopted tyranny”.
‘No justification for President to hold post’
While addressing a crowded press conference and party workers at Madressah Shah Waliullah in Khuzdar a day before the opposition’s public meeting in Quetta, PDM president Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that the Supreme Court’s ruling in Justice Qazi Faez Isa case proved it was a ‘malicious’ presidential reference after which President Arif Alvi was left with no justification to hold his post.
He said the PTI-led government was in shock due to these public meetings, as the events had exposed the “illegitimate, fake and incompetent” government.
In reply to a question, the Maulana said that the prime minister, who termed the Karachi incident “comedy”, and his government were themselves “comedians”. For Mr Khan, “taking IG police hostage is comedy,” he regretted.
He said the government was upset over the success of the PDM rallies. He rejected ‘security concerns’ as government propaganda. “It is the responsibility of the government to provide security for Quetta gathering. If they cannot provide security, then go home… Quetta meeting will be held in any case,” he said, adding that sanctity of the people’s vote would be restored at all cost.
In reply to a question, Maulana Fazl said Nawaz Sharif was not a fugitive from the courts as he had attended the courts hundreds of times.
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam central secretary general Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Maulana Syed Mahmood Shah, Maulana Abdul Rehman Sasoli, Maulana Mohammad Qasim Farooqi, Maulana Abdul Sabur, Maulana Abu Bakar and a large number of workers were present on the occasion.
Meanwhile, PDM president and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman also visited Jamia Naseeria in Mastung and Shaykh-ul-Hadith Hazrat Maulana Abdul Aziz, Takri.
Addressing a gathering of supporters there, he said the opposition with its unity had exposed the incompetent rulers who had come through backdoor. Their dreams were shattering and they would have to go soon, he said. “Imran Khan and his fake government can no longer function after Justice Isa case ruling,” he observed.
He said the Quetta meeting was an ‘important milestone’ in purging the nation from the fake, incompetent rulers.
Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2020