LAHORE: Leaders of the prominent political parties on Sunday criticised the government’s attitude towards the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement, saying everyone should have a right to protest.
Senator Pervez Rasheed expressed his dismay by stating that the ban on the rally was a painful act and that the Punjab government should listen to what the protesters have to say. Rasheed branded the decision by the government of Punjab to enforce a ban on young Pashtuns from holding a rally in Lahore as unfortunate.
He said that this should be a time for mending old wounds and that the Punjab government should listen to the complaints expressed by the youth. “Instead of silencing them, it is pertinent to address their grievances,” he said.
“Today is not the time to repeat mistakes from our past. Today is a time to learn from our mistakes and strengthen national unity,” he added.
Maryam tweeted that the arrested activists should be released and the PTM has a right to hold its rally. “This country is as much their’s as it is ours,” she said and added: “Attempts to suppress voices rising against oppression and excesses can never have never been successful, nor will they ever be”.
ظلم و زیادتی کے خلاف اٹھنے والی آوازوں کو زبردستی دبانے کی کوشش نہ کبھی کامیاب ہوئی ہے نہ ہو گی۔ وجوہات کا سدِباب کیا جائے۔ https://t.co/EZzBcOQFiA
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) April 21, 2018
PPP Chairman Bilawal also took to Twitter to extend his support, saying that every Pakistani citizen has a right to protest and “PTM is no different”, adding trending hashtag #VoterKoIzzatDo, a reference to PML-N’s slogan demanding respect for the vote.
All Pakistani citizens have right to peaceful protest. PTM are no different. From the arrest of their organisers and allies, to the continued harassment of students in Lahore, I condemn the high handedness and disregard for the constitutional rights of the people. #VoterKoIzzatDo
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) April 22, 2018