LAHORE - The Lahore rally of PTI against inflation started from Nasir Bagh but most of the participants remained at Istanbul Chowk, commonly known as Zamzama Chowk, and Government College Road till the arrival of Imran Khan.
It was witnessed that participants who had gathered in front of Nasir Bagh started to disappear soon after the arrival of PTI chairman and the rally organisers advised the top leadership to end the rally at GPO Chowk to avoid further cut in the already thin participation.
The sudden news of change of rally’s culmination venue disappointed the party activists, which mostly consisted of Insaf Student Federation and the families that came with their children to welcome the party chairman at Faisal Chowk; they all had to rush to the GPO Chowk. The youth gathered at Faisal Chowk danced to the tunes of party songs to welcome their party chief who however couldn’t come there.
Banners and posters inscribed with slogans against the inflation and inviting the masses to the rally were displayed at the entire route. A heavy contingent of security personnel was also deployed in the area. All roads leading to The Mall were been closed, however, vehicles of the participants of the rally were allowed to reach The Mall.
Imran led the rally on a heavy vehicle float on which prominent leaders of PTI and other political parties were accompanying the PTI chairman. Among the prominent figures were JI chief Munawar Hasan and AML head Sheikh Rasheed. PTI leaders included Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, Jhangir Tareen and Azam Swati.
JI chief addressing the participants warned that people would seek out for other avenues if the rulers continued to exploit them in the name of democracy. He said that as long as the ‘money laundering kings’ were the finance ministers of the country, the country could not be put on the path of progress. He called for immediate end to the military operation in North Waziristan as it had pitted the army against the people.
Sheikh Rasheed said that nobody was demanding midterm elections, however demanding such an action was the constitutional right of political parties and activist given the bad policies of the government. He claimed that ‘lion’ would have a cat’s walk after the rally, while the today’s show was just a trailer and the film would start later.