PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz has heaped criticism on Pakistani news channels for “hiding the truth” after, what some analysts called, lackluster power show of the alliance of 11 opposition parties in Lahore on Sunday.
“You didn’t show the truth. Some channels didn’t show the truth, but foreign media, including Al Jazeera and BBC, held a mirror up to such elements in the media,” said Maryam while speaking to journalists alongside other opposition leaders after a meeting of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) at the Raiwind estate of the Sharif family on Monday.
Lahore is considered the bastion of the Sharifs’ political power. But Sunday’s rally fell well short of the hype the PDM had created about it, according to political analysts. And this didn’t go unnoticed in the Pakistani media.
However, Maryam insisted that they had received enormous response from the Lahoriites. “I’ve never seen such a massive crowd in my life,” she said. “The venue was filled to capacity, while as many people stood outside after failing to find space inside.”
The PML-N vice president claimed the massive crowd braved freezing temperatures and turned out to make Sunday’s rally “the most successful Jalsa in the history of Lahore”.
“The government is against us, the establishment is against us, the coronavirus is against us, the weather was inclement, but we defied all odds and staged a historic jalsa,” Maryam said in a separate video clip shared on social media.
“Let the media say whatever it wants to say, because some channels are furthering a specific agenda,” she said while speaking to her party’s officials a day after the Lahore rally. Some media reports claimed Maryam had criticised her party’s leaders at the meeting for their “failure gather huge crowds”.
PDM President Maulana Fazlur Rehman, meanwhile, blamed the security establishment for “pressuring the media into downplaying” the Lahore jalsa.
The government spokesperson, however, said the opposition parties were passing the buck at each other for the “flop show” in Lahore.
“This rejected gang of masqueraders cannot fool the people under any garb,” Shibli Faraz, the federal information minister, wrote on his Twitter handle.
“At their Raiwind huddle, the PDM parties would be blaming each other for their failed show,” he said. “They must be scratching their heads and wondering how to save the sinking ship of their politics.”
رائیونڈ میں آج کے پی ڈی ایم کے اجلاس میں جلسہ کی ناکامی کا ملبہ ایک دوسرے پر ڈالا جائے گا۔ سوچا جائے گا کہ عوام کو دھوکہ دینے اور اپنی ڈوبتی ہوئی سیاسی کشتی کو کیسے بچانا ہے۔ مسترد شدہ ٹولہ کوئی بھی بہروپ بھرلے لیکن عوام دوبارہ دھوکہ کھانے کو تیار نہیں۔
— Senator Shibli Faraz (@shiblifaraz) December 14, 2020