MMA anti-uniform rally in Lahore today
* District govt allows Minar-e-Pakistan public meeting on 20 conditions
By Qamar Jabbar
LAHORE: The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) is holding its third public meeting today (Sunday) at Minar-e-Pakistan to exert pressure on President Pervez Musharraf to shed his military uniform by the end of 2004 in accordance with the 17th Amendment in the Constitution.
Acting Lahore Nazim Farooq Amjad Mir told Daily Times on Saturday that the district government had granted MMA permission on 20 terms and conditions. These include maintaining law and order, not damaging public and private property, no display of arms, not creating any hurdle in the smooth flow of traffic, holding the meeting within the premises of Minto Park and ending the meeting by 5pm.
The supreme council meeting of the religious alliance will be held at Mansoora in the morning at 10am before the leaders leave for Minto Park to attend the rally. They will discuss further strategies to strike President Musharraf at the meeting.
Central leaders of the six MMA component parties, except Maulana Samiul Haq of Jamiat Ulema-e-Paistan-Sami (JUP-S), will attend the public meeting. The JUP-S has not been attending any MMA meeting for a long time because of differences with the Jamat-e-Islami and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Punjab President Sardar Zulfikar Khosa and general secretary Khawaja Saad Rafiqe along with a group of party workers will attend the MMA’s public meeting. Sources told Daily Times that MMA President Qazi Hussain Ahmad had given a target to the heads of all component parties to ensure their workers’ massive participation in the meeting “to jolt the Presidency”. MMA has reportedly put an attendance target of 50,000.
JI Punjab spokesman Abdul Wahab Niazi said that at least two dozen MMA workers were still in police custody, after being arrested during for chalking walls in various parts of the city. He said that at least one bus from every part of Lahore would proceed to Minar-e-Pakistan after Zohr prayers. The organisers will set up 28 reception camps in the city to welcome participants from other parts of Punjab.