Thursday Nov 26, 2020
MULTAN: A special magistrate's court on Thursday granted bail to former PPP lawmaker Ali Musa Gillani and other leaders of the Opposition's Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), all of whom were detained a day before.
Gillani, the son of former premier Yousaf Raza Gillani, was arrested yesterday following a rally ahead of the upcoming PDM jalsa.
Speaking to the media outside the court, Ali Musa said it was not only the political workers but the leaders who were making sacrifices now. "We will help the people get rid of the incumbent government through the PDM platform," he vowed.
After obtaining bail, he told the media that the Opposition and the PDM "will continue fighting for our rights" and termed the arrests factors that "are only strengthening our spirits".
The former MNA also spoke of how many people in Pakistan did not have two proper meals a day and young people were unemployed.
"I'm indebted to all those who raised their voices against tyranny, who spent the night outside the police station, who penned fearless messages for my release, who vouched for our cause and who fearlessly stood by me in the face of injustice," he said on Twitter later.
"You will always find me standing right besides you in this struggles," he added.
His brother, Kasim Gilani, tweeted that police was "getting this surety bond signed by all arrested workers of PPP, PML-N, and JUI-F".
In another post, he claimed that 24 workers of the PPP, 54 of the PML-N, and 16 of the JUI-F were still in jail.
Speaking about the Multan Police's move to arrest the PDM leaders, including the Gilani brothers, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said it showed that the government "has freaked out".
"The government knows that the people are with the democracy instead of this selected government," Bilawal said, rejecting the PTI regime's underhanded tactics that he said "cannot stand in our way".
"Protesting is our democratic right and, whatever happens on November 30, we will exercise this right," he vowed.
The president of the PPP's Punjab chapter, Qamar Zaman Kaira, had earlier termed Ali Musa Gilani's detention by the Multan Police "political barbarism", saying the Gilani family could not be intimidated by lawsuits and arrests.
"The administration and police in Multan have been activated against political opponents," Kaira observed but warned that police brutality and fascism were not going to stop the Opposition's movement.
"The PDM will only breathe a sigh of relief after sending the puppet and his incompetent government home," the PPP leader said, referring to Prime Minister Imran Khan.
"The jiyalas may have bowed to such cowardly tactics in the past but will not surrender now," he added.
The Multan Police, in a statement, said a case was registered against Ali Musa Gilani for holding a rally today despite the ban. "We have nominated 30 leaders of the PPP and the PML-N in the FIR," they added, noting that at least 50 other unidentified political workers were booked as well.
Opposition is planning a public gathering in the city on November 30. But the district administration has twice denied permission to hold rallies citing coronavirus measures.
Prior to the arrest, PPP leader Yousaf Raza Gilani led a rally here from Nawan Shehr ahead of the Pakistan Democratic Movement's (PDM) upcoming jalsa, where his son, Ali Musa, had torn apart a copy of a first information report (FIR) terming it "bogus".
The rally — from Multan's Nawan Shehr to Ghanta Ghar Chowk — was led by the PPP in preparation for the PDM's jalsa meeting on November 30.
Multan's deputy commissioner, Amir Khattak, said the district administration had not allowed the PPP to hold a rally. Consequently, heavy contingents of police were deployed on all roads leading to the city's Nawan Shehr.
Both DC Khattak and Multan's Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Muhammad Hassan Raza Khan were there at the site as well.
Moreover, there were severe traffic jams on the roads towards Nawan Shehr, with blockages reported on Chowk Dera Ada, Kalma Chowk, Tariq Road, and Abdali Road.
Former prime minister Gillani's son Kasim also talked about the rally on Twitter before sharing a copy of the FIR in another post.
"The Punjab government has registered a bogus FIR based on false and ridiculous charges Abdul Qadir Gilani, myself and [PPP/PDM]," he said.
The three sons of the former prime minister, including Musa and Kasim, reached the Lohari Gate police station after a case was filed against them a day earlier and offered the authorities to arrest them on the spot.