Opposition gears up to observe 'Black Day' to mark 1 year since general elections 2018

The joint opposition is marking the first anniversary of the 2018 general elections as Youm-e-Siah — ‘black day‘ — by holding rallies across Pakistan.

PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz in the morning departed from Lahore for Quetta where she will address a rally.

In a post shared on Twitter prior to her departure, Maryam wrote that every day under the current government — that she alleged had “stolen votes and was a fraud” — is a black day for the country.

The joint opposition will hold public meetings in all provincial capitals — Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta — while a demonstration will be held in Islamabad.


While Maryam and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai will address the meeting in Quetta, Lahore’s public meeting will be presided over by PML-N President and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif.

According to a post shared by the PML-N on Twitter, Shehbaz will address a rally at 5pm at Charing Cross in Lahore. PPP Punjab president Qamar Zaman Kaira, Prof Sajid Mir and Maulana Amjad Ali Khan will also address the rally.

A large contingent of police and anti-riot force personnel have been stationed around Mall Road, where heavy rainfall affected preparations.

Earlier, it was reported that the Punjab government denied permission to the opposition to hold a rally on The Mall today.


The Karachi Traffic Police shared a traffic plan for the city. — Photo courtesy Karachi Traffic Police Twitter
The Karachi Traffic Police shared a traffic plan for the city. — Photo courtesy Karachi Traffic Police Twitter

PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will lead the public meeting at Bagh-e-Jinnah in Karachi alongside PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq. Ahead of the rally, preparations have been completed. Opposition parties have set up welcome camps around the location and strict security arrangements have been made.

The opposition parties in the National Assembly had also decided to hold a general convention today outside the Mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Central leaders of the opposition parties will address the event while conventions will also be held in other provincial capitals.


Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman will lead the public meeting at Motorway Chowk on Ring Road in Peshawar along with PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal and Qaumi Watan Party chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao. Over 1,100 police officers and 250 traffic police officers are on duty. The meeting was scheduled to begin at 11am.

JUI-F will also hold a ‘million march’ at 3pm that will be addressed by the leaders of opposition parties.


According to PML-N’s Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, the party will hold a protest at the National Press Club in Islamabad at 3:30pm. The protest rally will go from the press club to Parliament House.

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq will lead the rally while other PML-N leaders and local JUI-F leaders will also participate.

The opposition rallies coincide with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s return from an official working visit to the United States, which has largely been seen as a diplomatic win for the government.

The premier, while addressing a large crowd at a community event at Washington’s Capital One Arena on his first day in the US, had gone after opposition leaders and threatened to ‘take away’ their prison facilities. “They will stay there as long as they do not return the money they have looted,” Imran had thundered to a charged audience.

Opposition parties had lambasted Prime Minister Imran over his speech and termed it “provocative, anarchic and full of venom”.