ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday declared Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) rally at Minar-i-Pakistan a ‘flop power show’ and said the opposition’s three-month-old anti-government movement was buried in Lahore on Sunday.
He lashed out at the opposition for staging public meetings and endangering people’s lives amid the more lethal second wave of the coronavirus.
He made these remarks during a meeting with his spokespersons at the Prime Minister House.
The meeting took place a day after the Lahore rally during which the joint opposition’s protest programme was reviewed.
“The prime minister termed the Lahore rally a flop show as people kept away from the event,” a participant of the meeting said on condition of anonymity.
Blames opposition for endangering lives amid pandemic
He said Mr Khan was of the view that people of Lahore belonged to one of the sane and conscious groups of citizens and therefore did not get involved in political activity without proper thinking.
PM Khan said many ‘ineffective’ movements that kicked off from Lahore fizzled out in the same city, adding that “the fate of PDM will also be the same”.
The prime minister expressed his displeasure over the fiery speeches and remarks against state institutions made by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz during the PDM public meetings.
“Maryam is maligning state institutions,” he said, adding that she was blaming media for PDM’s flop show in Lahore but the fact was that people were not inspired by the opposition’s narrative.
Another PM’s spokesman quoted the prime minister as saying that he had urged the opposition not to stage public meetings as the country was facing a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases and deaths but it (opposition) did not pay any heed to his advice and put the lives of people at risk.
On the other hand, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said the people of Lahore had outright rejected the PDM leaders along with their narrative.
In a series of tweets, he said those who had different directions could not have the same destiny.
Contrary to their claim of ‘Now or Never’, the PDM got ridiculed in Lahore as it had failed to attract residents of Lahore and Punjab.
“PDM leaders looked dejected after people of Lahore and Punjab did not show up [in the public meeting],” the minister added.
He said the opposition spewed venom against the Pakistan Army during Gujranwala public gathering and desecrated Quaid-i-Azam mausoleum in their Karachi rally. World Bank
In a meeting with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Dr Sania Nishtar and World Bank Country Director Najy Benhassine, Prime Minister Khan was informed that the World Bank had doubled its assistance for Ehsaas Programme, which would ensure social safety of maximum deserving people through further expansion of the programme.
Describing the Ehsaas Programme as ‘a flagship programme of social safety’, the World Bank’s country director said it was a model for other countries to follow as well.
The prime minister directed Special Assistant Dr Sania Nishtar to formulate a comprehensive strategy for the expansion of the Ehsaas Programme.
Najy Benhassine appreciated the measures taken by PM Khan on climate change.
He was appreciative of Pakistan’s commitment to generating electricity through other environment-friendly and renewable energy sources instead of coal, and described it a very responsible step towards checking the increasing hazardous effects of climate change in the region.
Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2020