Pakistani authorities confirmed on Monday, November 30, that they had arrested almost 400 supporters of opposition parties ahead of a planned rally in Multan (Punjab province). The rally has been called for supporters to demand that current Prime Minister Imran Khan resign from his position. Opposition supporters say the arrests were done to quell further anti-government unrest while the government claims it was necessary to prevent further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Additionally, mobile phone networks have been switched off ahead of the event.
The anti-government demonstration has been organized by the Pakistani Democratic Movement (PDM) opposition party. Participants of the demonstration are scheduled to gather at the Qilla Kohna Qasim Bagh Stadium, however, an exact timing has not yet been confirmed. Security forces placed shipping containers on major roads on Sunday night to block access to the stadium.
A heightened security presence and localized transport disruptions are likely in the vicinity of the demonstration. Scuffles between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Those in Multan are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate transportation disruptions, avoid protests or demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.