Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday said that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) was playing ‘reckless’ politics over people’s safety, which in the past it had been calling for imposition of strict lockdown due to Covid-19. The prime minister’s remarks came a day ahead of scheduled public gathering of 11-member coalition of opposition parties in Peshawar where the Covid-19 positivity rate has reached above 13 percent. “The same PDM (members) who had wanted a strict lockdown and criticised me earlier, now playing reckless politics with people’s safety,” the prime minister said on Twitter. He said the PDM members are even defying court orders and holding a public gathering when cases are rising dramatically. The prime minister commented on a tweet by Planning Minister Asad Umar saying that Peshawar has 202 Covid-19 patients in critical care with 50 on low-flow oxygen, 134 on high-flow and 18 on ventilators. Asad Umar added that 14 new critical patients were admitted to hospital on Friday. “PDM response: we will be safe on the stage so who cares what happens to citizens,” the minister tweeted. Asad Umar said Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) Peshawar rally is a clear example of the opposition’s double standards. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader took to Twitter on Saturday and said in a series of tweets that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) imposed complete lockdown in Azad Kashmir for two weeks and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government enforced smart lockdown in four districts of Karachi. Asad Umar, who also heads the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), said both parties are insisting to hold public gathering in Peshawar and one cannot find a clearer example of double standards than this. He said PTI won four out of four seats in Peshawar in the 2013 elections, five out of five in the 2018 polls and will also sweep the next elections. Peshawar is Prime Minister Imran Khan’s city, he said. He remarked that the opposition will gain nothing except endangering the lives and livelihood of people. Perhaps, it wants to take revenge from the people of Peshawar, he said. Information Minister Shibli Faraz said the opposition is bent upon exhibiting irresponsibility. “Their insistence on holding Sunday’s rally is a reflection of their undemocratic thinking and irresponsible attitude. There is no legal or moral justification for moving forward with the rally despite the orders issued by the government and the court,” he said, and warned that a case would be registered against the opposition leaders and the organisers of the rally if Covid-19 cases rose in the province. Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry called the opposition’s attitude “dangerous”. “Playing with the lives of the people is no joke. The Tehreek-i-Labbaik also didn’t leave any stone unturned in making Lahore a Covid time bomb. Now, the PML-N and the PPP will create chaos from Peshawar to Multan,” he said. Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi said it was the “height of hypocrisy and irresponsibility” that the PDM was insisting on holding rallies when “Covid-19 cases are rising throughout the country”. “Earlier, these clowns wanted to shut down everything but now [they are] taking a Trumpian view by ignoring ground realities!” Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said it was sad how the PDM was playing “dangerous politics with the people’s lives by insisting on continuing their rallies”. “When the government was doing smart lockdowns, the same PDM leaders were attacking the government and demanding a complete lockdown. “But clearly holding jalsas in a desperate attempt to protect their corruption through pressuring for NRO is far more important than preventing exposure of people to Covid-19. They place little value on the lives of ordinary Pakistanis,” she said.