LAHORE – The Awami Muslim League (AML) led by Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed is going to hold a public meeting in the heart of PML-N stronghold, Gawalmandi, today (Friday).

Sheikh Rasheed in a chat with TheNation on Thursday said: “We do not expect a big show at Gawalmandi; however, we bank on the support of the people to make the AML function a success story who are tired of the Punjab government’s poor policies and bad governance”.

He alleged the provincial government in a bid to harass his small bunch of followers had aided some elements to damage the flex signs, posters and banners of the AML relating to party’s public meeting.

When asked about the PTI’s support for the AML public meeting, he said the PTI had not been tendered a formal request in this regard; however, the PTI activists being the citizens of heart of Punjab could support his party’s moot.

Rasheed talking about the impacts of the moot remarked though the AML was not in a position to create a ‘big bang’ but at least holding a public moot by a marginal party in the heart of PML-N’s stronghold would be itself a sign of change.

Answering a query regarding making some ground among the PML-N camp by holding a party moot at Gawalmandi, Rasheed maintained: “I have no need to make any ground among the PML-N ranks, as the AML has no desire to join hands with the PML-N at any cost.”

Rasheed telling the status of AML’s alliance with the PTI asserted that all the arrangements relating to a coalition between the two parties had been given a final shape and a formal announcement in this connection would be made before the next general elections.

The AML chief claimed his party would contest from two national assembly seats from the provincial capital by forging alliance with likeminded parties.

Residents of Gawalmandi and people living in its surroundings have mixed sentiments and views over the success of Rasheed’s show. Some of them told this correspondent during a visit to the venue that there was a likelihood of the participation of those who suffered financial losses and jobs after the end of Food Street in this area.

While another group of the same vicinity was of the view that it was the heart of the PML-N during Musharraf regime and it would remain the strong pocket of the PML-N and would not support the remnants of a dictator.

Earlier, addressing a press conference, Sheikh Rasheed said Ephedrine case was going to attract international attention very soon and those involved in the scandal were going to get sentences for their part in the crime.