ISLAMABAD   -  The provincial leaderships of Awami National Party (ANP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) on Friday vowed to gather thousands of people at PDM’s public gathering scheduled to be held in Peshawar tomorrow (November 22).

The district administration on the other hand has refused to grant permission to the PDM for holding public gathering due to the sudden spike in Covid-19 cases in the provincial capital.

According to a latest letter issued by the deputy commissioner’s office, the positivity rate of Covid-19 in Peshawar has crossed 13 percent mark and such public gatherings can further increase the spread of coronavirus.

However, the provincial leaderships of both the parties have announced to hold the event in Peshawar come what may, and gather thousands of people to give tough time to the government.

While talking to The Nation, senior ANP leader Samar Haroon Bilour said that they were all prepared for the upcoming event in Peshawar; adding that they were all ready to be arrested. 

She said that there were no coronavirus fears during the funeral prayer of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, adding the government was only targeting the PDM which is not acceptable for them.

Samar elaborated that the alliance of opposition parties was going to hold a motorcycle rally today (Saturday) and will hold the jalsa at all costs. ANP’s provincial Secretary General Sardar Hussain Babak, in a recent statement, has warned what he called ‘the selected government’ against creating any hindrances in the way of opposition’s gathering.

He stated that the PDM had completed all preparations for holding Jalsa; saying that the government was using heavy machinery for stopping opposition’s workers from reaching the event’s venue.

Babak regretted that there was no concern over Covid-19 at the time when the PTI ministers were holding public gatherings only a few days ago, but now when the opposition was planning its events suddenly the pandemic had become an issue.

Meanwhile, senior JUI-F leader Abdul Jaleel Jan told The Nation that they had started work on setting up stage for the PDM’s leadership; saying that no one could stop them from holding public gathering in Peshawar.

Former Senator and senior leader of JUI-F Haji Ghulam Ali said that it was opposition’s legal right to hold protest demonstrations against the government.

He, however, added that the opposition parties would ensure compliance with all the SOPs issued by the government.

The senior leader of ANP and spokesperson of PDM Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that providing full security to the crowd was the duty of the government, and the government would be responsible in the event of any harm to the gathering.

On the other hand the KP government has failed to convince the opposition parties to delay the Peshawar Jalsa due to spike in Covid19 cases in Peshawar as the team of PDM has refused to meet the body formed by Chief Minister KP to convince PDM leadership for delaying Jalsa due to increase in corona virus cases.