LAHORE: The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) may shift the venue of its Feb 5 Kashmir Day rally to Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu Kashmir, where Prime Minister Imran Khan is also expected to address the AJK assembly.
In a telephonic talk to PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif suggested the change of rally venue, which may be finalised in the next few days after formal consultation among other components of the opposition alliance.
According to the party insiders, the earlier venue – Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi – had been decided as a part of the build-up for the PDM’s planned long-march. Since the long march dates were still not finalised, holding the Kashmir Day rally at Liaquat Bagh lost its justification, they said.
Secondly, they argued that since the local leadership had recently arranged a gathering in front of the Pakistan Election Commission headquarters on Jan 19, burdening it with arrangements for another show just two weeks down the lane was hardly justifiable.
“This prompted the change of site for the rally. The PML-N will still host it but arrangements will now be made by the government of Azad Kashmir, or by Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, who is much better placed, in terms of finances and other wherewithal, to arrange the show. It also serves the purpose of showing power where it is needed the most – the Kashmir valley. Though it is still not absolutely final, a decision might come in the next few days,” says a party insider.
Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2021