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LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz said on Friday that the opposition were taking to the streets for the rights of 220 million people of Pakistan and expressed confidence for the success of their just struggle soon.

Before her departure to Gujranwala, Maryam said in a tweet that she was embarking on this "mission as Nawaz's foot soldier; I have dedicated myself to your struggle, your mission for Pakistan and its people. May Allah be with us and may we return triumphant and victorious. Pakistan Zindabad."

The security team of Shahbaz Sharif and Hamza Shahbaz is escorting Maryam in her caravan to Gujranwala which is a stronghold of PML-N. In her caravan, there were hundreds of vehicles and fully charged PML-N workers.

Speaking to supporters outside her Jati Umrah residence, Maryam said the opposition were coming out on the streets and appealed to the people to join her caravan. "Police and administration should not stand in our way. We are fighting not only for the people but also for your rights," she said. "The police and administration have taken an oath to abide by the constitution and law but not to protect a fake ruler." She said, "It's the beginning of the end of bogus government."

In a separate tweet, she mentioned that "Shahbaz Sharif and Hamza, my brother, sent their personal security and cars" for her. They were in prison but still worried about her, she said and prayed for their early release.

Maryam stopped her vehicle in front of a container on the road. Fearing that the rally may be stopped if she passes through first, she told her security team that she would be the last one to go through this point. However, the PML-N supporters removed all the barricades while the rally was diverted towards the Ring Road instead of moving towards Thokar Niaz Beg. The police have already blocked Bund Road near Niazi Adda to force the way of motorway instead of passing through the city.

A large number of PML-N supporters accorded rousing reception to Maryam at Shahdara on arrival. She addressed the audience and assured to accomplish the mission of Nawaz Sharif.

Moreover, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) President Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman before his departure to Gujranwala told media that the situation had changed as Prime Minister Imran Khan, who had been constantly claiming that he would not give NRO, currently wanted the same from the opposition but they would not give him anything (NRO).

Maulana Fazl said the current Parliament was not a representative of people and the opposition parties were united and none of them looked for any understanding with the present setup.

Answering a question, the PDM chief said Imran had staged his sit-in against an elected government but our struggle was aimed at removing the illegal legislature. The people deserved fresh elections to elect their true representatives, he said, adding: "There is a bogus rule and the people are facing great hardships because of incompetent rulers."

He further said that his caravan will meet Maryam Nawaz's caravan at some point on way to Gujranwala and they will enter Gujranwala together. Fazl said that all Opposition parties were committed and there should be no perception that some political force is looking for any reconciliation or thinking of it.

Meanwhile, the administration has sent a report to the Punjab government stating that a gross violation of safety protocols has been observed in the rally participants. Not only the rally participants, but the people at the rally venue in Gujranwala were found not wearing any masks. Furthermore, the convoy of Maryam travelling with is also not taking any safety precautions, the report said.

On the other hand, Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has asserted the opposition is directionless and lacks political acumen. In a statement, he said the accountability of the corrupt will continue under PM Imran Khan because the PTI is mandated to eliminate corruption and it will not deviate from it. The CM said there is a threat of the second wave of corona and the political agitators should avoid playing with the lives of the people because the virus can spread due to corona SOPs violation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020