QUETTA: The 11-party Opposition, under the banner of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), held its third power show in Quetta despite the provincial government’s appeal to postpone the rally amid security threats.
According to details, president of the newly formed alliance Maulana Fazalur Rehman, PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz addressed the attendance at the rally in Ayub Stadium.
Meanwhile, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif addressed the public meeting via video link. The rally was scheduled to begin at 1pm. Two hundred chairs were set up in the stadium for participants.
Ahead of the rally, the Balochistan government banned pillion riding in Quetta. Mobile phone services have been suspended within a 4km radius of the stadium.
Amir Haider Khan Hoti
Awami National Party’s central senior vice president Amir Haider Khan Hoti, while addressing the crowd, said, “I was given a letter saying there was a threat alert and be careful. “You want to scare the people who follow Bacha Khan? Wali Khan? Benazir Bhutto?”
He also condemned the way PML-N leader Mohammad Safdar was treated in Karachi and MNA Mohsin Dawar upon his arrival in Quetta. “Balochistan’s message to Imran Khan is that you are inefficient, you are unsuccessful,” he added.
Referring to the Law Enforcement Agencies, he said, “The message to the forces standing behind you is that under no circumstances can anyone be above the Constitution and the law.”
Sardar Akhtar Mengal
On the occasion, Balochistan National Party (BNP) President Sardar Akhtar Mengal congratulated party workers for making the PDM Quetta rally a success. “Balochistan is rising and when this happens, others lose sleep,” he added.
“While the province had always held up democratic ideals, it had gotten little in return,” he remarked. Akhtar Mengal also highlighted the missing persons issue once again, saying that the families have been waiting for their loved ones for 10 years.
Pointing out the issues faced by the province, he said, “From 1947 to 2020, we have gotten nothing, our children have been murdered, our houses are empty. Was this why this country was made?”
“Where was this written that only Baloch and Pashtun people’s blood will be shed? We were told that we will be equal citizens here, are you, equal citizens, here?” he asked.
The BNP president vowed that the people of the province would never abandon the country and defend its borders just like the nation had not given up its struggle for rights and democracy.
Referring to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Akhter Mengal said that while CPEC projects had led to development in other parts of the country, residents of Gwadar still don’t have access to drinking water.
Earlier on Friday, the Balochistan government’s spokesperson Liaquat Ali Shahwani said that the law enforcement agency had issued a security alert for the public rallies of opposition parties in Quetta and Peshawar. “There is credible information about the possibility of subversive activities,” he added.