The peace march of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf‚ which began from Islamabad for South Waziristan on Saturday morning‚ has now entered the limits of Dera Ismail Khan. PTI Chairman Imran Khan is leading the march.
Meanwhile‚ in Dera Ismail Khan‚ the district administration has tightened security in connection with the PTI march.
In Tank‚ a red alert has been declared as part of arrangements to provide security to the participants of the march.
Addressing the people gathered to welcome the march‚ Imran Khan said the peace march is aimed at showing solidarity with the people of the tribal areas.
He said we are trying to save the people of the tribal areas from the harms caused by the drone attacks.
The peace march received warm reception as it reached to Talagang and flower petals showered at the motorcade and smaller rallies merged into the march towards South Waziristan tribal region on Saturday.
Addressing thousands of supporters at a welcome camp in Mianwali, Imran Khan said Saturday that a new Pakistan would be established together with the people of Waziristan.
Khan said that the government was creating hurdles on the path of peace march. But he added that the march would reach its final destination of South Waziristan.
People of Waziristan made sacrifices for the sake of Pakistan, he said, adding that PTI realizes their sufferings and expresses solidarity with them.
Earlier, he said that he was more afraid of political gimmicks than extremists.
The PTI chairman also criticized President Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Muslim league-Nawaz leaders.
Earlier, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf rally set off towards South Waziristan under the leadership of Imran Khan. The rally, which has sparked a huge debate of late, would be staying overnight near DI Khan before heading for its final destination the following day.
The march was joined by several other rallies from Peshawar and Lahore. A private force has been formulated by the PTI administration in order to provide security during the march.
Talking to media representatives, Khan spoke to the media stating that this march is meant for peace and not war. “We are just travelling with the message of peace and harmony and everyone should benefit from it,” stated the PTI Chief.
“Initially we were termed as the pro-Taliban and now were being labelled as the supporters of the West,” said Khan.
Khan accused JUI-F Chief Fazlur Rehman to have a strong hand in circulating adverse perception against PTI. “Fazlur Rehman is a charlatan who is spreading the wrong idea amongst people by labeling us as the agaents of Christians and Jews; as we are just trying to promote peace within the region,” said Khan.
“Fazlur Rehman is agitated by our popularity and it is for that reason he is talking against the march,” claimed Imran.
Meanwhile, PTI’s Chief Coordinatior DI Khan Malik Abdul Qayyum Khan criticized the government for blocking the routes towards Waziristan, creating further hurdles for the peace rally. He asserted that the government wanted to discourage people from Wana to join the march.
Earlier, few factions of the Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had threatened PTI not to continue with the march stating that the PTI would have to face severe consequences if they continue with their march. They termed the PTI rally as an attempt to ‘misguide the simple people of Pakistan.’
Responding to a question regarding security threats to his march, Imran Khan said that if someone tries to stop them, they will stop. Khan was addressing a gathering at Islamabad Toll Plaza before leaving Islamabad.
The motorcade driven across Talagang, Chakwal, Kundian, Mianwali, Karak, Dera Ismail Khan and finally enter Waziristan.