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Balochistan govt urges PDM to delay Quetta rally over security threats

QUETTA: Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani has urged the opposition’s Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to postpone its upcoming rally in Quetta following a security threat alert issued by the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA).

The 11-party opposition is scheduled to hold its third power show in Quetta on October 25. The newly-formed alliance initially announced its first public meeting in Quetta on October 11 but there was a change of plans with the movement kicking off with a rally in Gujranwala on October 16.

Earlier on Thursday, the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) warned that banned militant outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was planning terrorist activities across Peshawar and Quetta in near future.

Addressing a press conference in Quetta today (Friday), Shahwani urged the alliance to postpone the rally, one more time, in the wider interest of the public given the threat alert issued by NACTA.

However, the government’s spokesperson did not elaborate on the nature of the security threat. “Later, when this threat has been eradicated or when the planners and masterminds are arrested, the opposition can hold a rally,” he added. Meanwhile, he also clarified that the Balochistan government did not have a problem in the past, nor does it have one now.

Liaquat Shahwani assured that the provincial government would not place containers to block routes or create any other hindrances. “Instead, we had provided bulletproof vehicles to the PDM leadership and will also provide hand sanitisers and masks to people attending the rally,” he added.

“Our intentions are based on democratic norms. If the 11-party alliance truly believes in democracy, Constitution, peace and security and masses’ betterment, then they should show a sense of responsibility and delay this rally,” he remarked.