PESHAWAR   -  The district administration Friday refused to give permission for a public meeting on November 22nd planned by the Opposition parties Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), citing the rising spread of the novel coronavirus in the district.  

It is to mention here that the Opposition alliance had sought permission from district administration to hold a public meeting in provincial capital Peshawar, on Dalazak Road - Ring Road chowk earlier this month.  A letter issued by the Deputy Commissioner (DC)'s office on Friday noted that coronavirus positivity rate in provincial capital Peshawar had exceeded 13 per cent, adding, that a public gathering "is likely to further increase the spread of life-threatening virus".  The letter further stated that in order to "safeguard human lives [from the] potential spread of Covid-19", the public gathering cannot be allowed to take place. 

Meanwhile, the Advisor to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Kamran Bangash tweeted the DC's letter and said: "[Positivity] rate of coronavirus cases in Peshawar has reached 13 pc. Be sensible."  While on the other hand the members of the Opposition alliance alleged that incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government is deliberately not allowing Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to hold a public gathering in Peshawar on November 22. 

Similarly, responding to the government’s decision, Awami National Party’s (ANP) provincial President Aimal Wali Khan said that the PTI government is playing tactics over not giving an No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the gathering.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesman Ikhtiar Wali also asked that with whom permission the ‘selected’ Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan had recently conducted rallies in the same Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) leader Faisal Karim Kundi has said that PDM will surely hold a public gathering on November 22 in Peshawar.

The reaction came after the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government refused to allow PDM to hold a gathering in Peshawar due to increasing cases of coronavirus.

The district administration issued a notification in this regard, stating that a joint meeting was held with the organizers of the public gathering.  

Ceremonies and public gatherings are to be avoided as the Covid-19 positivity rate for district Peshawar has presently exceeded 13 per cent, which is alarmingly and any large public gathering is likely to further increase the spread of life threatening virus, the notification stated. It further wrote that the local authorities regret to inform that permission for the said event has not been granted to the Opposition parties.