NOWSHERA - In an open violation of government’s ban on public gatherings amid the coronavirus threat, Federal Minister for Defence and central leader of ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Pervez Khattak has held a public meeting here in his native district Nowshera.

Interestingly, the federal minister while addressing the public meeting, which was held yesterday, also shared the steps so far taken by the govern­ment for prevention of coronavirus and also praised these steps.

Responding to the global emer­gency-like situation, the Khyber Pa­khtunkhwa government also closed down all government and private ed­ucational institutions across the prov­ince for two weeks, and also banned public gatherings and even closed wedding halls.

Prime Minister Imran Khan also chaired a meeting of the National Se­curity Committee in which public gath­erings were banned. However, Pervez Khattak, the main PTI stalwart and cab­inet member, held a public gathering in Pashtoon Garhi area of district Now­shera on Saturday in which hundreds of party activists had participated.

On the occasion, the federal minis­ter praised the government policies, in­cluding the measures taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has banned public meetings as part of the health emergency till Eid-ul-Fitr. He said along with the govern­ment, it is also the responsibility of the opposition parties and government al­lies to take part in the fight against coronavirus. Pervez Khattak also said that situation of coronavirus in Paki­stan is yet under control.

He also praised the efforts of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan governments to control the spread of viral disease.

He urged upon the people to adopt precautionary measures to avoid the disease. However, the federal minister was in fact himself violated the instruc­tions of its own government, as he was holding a public meeting despite clear orders of the federal and provincial governments.

It is to mention here that acting upon the government directives, the district administration of Nowshera had also issued a notification for ban on public gatherings. However, the district ad­ministration did not stop the PTI stal­wart from holding a rally and neither had it taken any action against him.

After conclusion of the rally, the PTI activists also did fireworks. The Federal Minister Khattak also used the rally to criticize the political opponents, saying that the previous governments had ru­ined the national economy and PM Im­ran Khan was taking difficult decisions to correct the state affairs.