LAHORE - The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is going to stage a power show at Lahore’s historic Mochi Gate on Monday (today).

Arrangements in this regard were being finalised on Sunday evening. The mass meeting is being organised in connection with Kashmir Solidarity Day, which is being marked all over the country on February 5. PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari will address the gathering, which some party leaders claim will attract thousands of workers. The PPP is holding the meeting at Mochi Gate after a long time.

The meeting will start at 2pm, according to party leaders, and continue till 8pm. A number of PPP leaders, including Qamar Zaman Kaira, Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, Chaudhry Manzoor and Mian Manzoor Wattoo, will also speak on occasion.

A large number of banners and flexes have been installed at the ground at Mochi Gate, the venue of the meeting, and along city’s main arteries like The Mall, Jail Road and Canal Bank Road. The banners carry pictures of PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira and other central and local leaders. Famous quote of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on the freedom of Kashmir — “We can fight for a thousand years for the freedom of Kashmir” — is also inscribed on flexes and banners.

A huge portrait of Asif Ali Zardari depicting him as a wrestler of Lahore has been installed in the centre of the ground. Around 40 feet high and 200 feet long stage was being put together at the ground on Sunday evening. Some 2,000 to 3,000 chairs were placed in front of the stage, at a distance of around 200 feet. A new party song will also be released on this occasion. Strict security arrangements have been made for the meeting, as some 5,000 security personnel will be deployed to avoid any untoward incident.

Punjab Police DIG Dr Haider Ashraf, Lahore DCO Sumair Ahmad Syed and City Traffic Police Officer Rai Ijaz visited the venue to check the security measures and other arrangements.

Asif Zardari’s private staff also visited the venue to check the security measures. Party leaders Qamar Zaman Kaira, Azizur Rehman Chan and Samina Khalid Ghurki also visited the venue to review the arrangements.

Kaira, talking to journalists on this occasion, said the elder Sharif (Nawaz Sharif) was on a judiciary-bashing spree, while the younger Sharif (Shehbaz Sharif) had quite opposite views about the judiciary. He condemned this “dual policy of Sharifs” and said the PML-N wanted every institution to favour it.

He said the PPP would tell Sharif at its Monday’s meeting that why he was ousted from the power corridors. “The Sharif brothers should know they will not be winning the general elections of 2018 and will be in the Adiala Jail before the elections,” he said. He said the PPP will hold an enormous rally on Monday.

Also, the PPP accused the city government of removing the party’s banners from various parts of the city on the orders of the PML-N leadership.

PPP Punjab spokesperson Sajjad Anwar said the ruling party was scared of the PPP’s power show; therefore, it was using such tactics to sabotage the meeting.

 

OUR STAFF REPORTER