Opposition alliance to rally in city tomorrow.
The Punjab government has imposed a smart lockdown in 13 areas neighbouring Minar-e-Pakistan ahead of the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s anti-government rally in Lahore on December 13.
A notification issued by the Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department on Saturday stated that the order will come into force tonight and will stay till December 25.
The areas that have been named in the notification are Rang Mehal, Androon Shera Wala Gate, Mochi Gate, Adroon Bhatti Gate, Chuhan Road, four streets of Ravi Road and four streets in Badami Bagh.
Entry and exit into the neighbourhoods will be controlled and people will only be allowed to go out unless absolutely necessary. General stores, tandoors and petrol pumps will be allowed to remain open from 9am to 7pm throughout the week.
Medical stores, hospitals, clinics and bakeries will be open round the clock for seven days a week.
- All markets, restaurants, offices will remain closed
- A complete ban has been placed on the movement of people from one place to another
- One person will be allowed in a vehicle
- A complete ban has been placed on public and religious gatherings
- No public dealings at call centres and cellular company offices
- Only delivery and takeaway will be allowed at restaurants
In the last 24 hours, 71 people passed away from the novel coronavirus while 2,729 new cases were reported countrywide. Experts have warned that Pakistan is presently battling the second wave of the deadly virus.
PDM, government at odds
The move comes ahead of the PDM rally scheduled at Minar-e-Pakistan on Sunday. The government, and the opposition alliance have been at odds over the rally.
The local administration in Lahore has denied the PDM permission to hold the rally. It said it can’t allow any group to hold a rally at Minar-e-Pakistan because of the spike in coronavirus infections in the country.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has advised the opposition to postpone their protest by at least three months citing the spread of COVID-19. But Maryam Nawaz is adamant that the PDM rally will proceed “no matter what”.
On the other hand, the National Counter Terrorism Authority warned on Friday that the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan may attack Minar-e-Pakistan when the alliance holds its gathering there.
NACTA has recommended taking strict security measures at the gathering and “keeping an eye out for suspicious individuals”.