ISLAMABAD - After ruling almost one year in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s first big rally in capital on Sunday revealed that common PTI workers have apparently lost their zeal and zest.
The Capital was mostly silent Sunday afternoon, except the route of the rally. There were no youth recklessly driving their flags clad cars, with full volume songs on their wi-fi gadgets. There were hardly any announcements on loudspeakers mounted vans but there was a heavy contingent of Islamabad Police and Punjab Police on major roundabouts, turning this silence into mystery.
Aabpara was jam-packed with youngsters and other PTI protestors but neither there was neither slogan nor the energy, PTI workers usually exhibit.
The venue of the rally was China Chowk, all roads near this point were filled with people. Dozens of cars were parked opposite the Polyclinic hospital with huge banners of Imran Khan, but there were no slogans and no chantings but just expressionless faces.
There were some chanting but those were the people with PTI top office bearers or PTI lawmakers.
There were around 100 speakers installed throughout the venue. There were long flags everywhere inside the venue, which were even placed at empty corners and empty seats. Arrangements were make in such a way that there was a large empty space between entry gate and the stage, this gap tricked cameras and people watching TV had a wrong idea of huge gathering.
There were thousands of people in the rally, long flags were hoisting every where, loud music was deafening the ears, but the emotions, zeal and zest which have been a part of PTI worker, a strong will and blind faith in their leader was missing.
The container dedicated for the TV cameras and press was very close to the stage. They were at such an elevation and lights were arranged in such a way that cameras falsely show more audience.
Apart from a heavy contingency of police there was aerial surveillance also. Green helicopter rounded the venue many times.
In the past PTI workers used to become furious on difficult questions of media, but at this rally people happily answered tough questions.
“PTI has failed to do any thing, and proved to be the same as any other political party, I am here because I was told that this rally is to pressurise the federal governamnet against the loadshedding and unemployment otherwise PTI and PML-N, all are the same,” M Humayoon Khan, a resident of Badh Bhir village, told The Nation.
Another participant, Samina Ghafoor, said that it is unfair to judge Khan’s one-year performance. “It is just one year, he is not experienced he is learning and we should give him time”.
Ruby Haider, a veteran PTI member, said that PML-N has conspired against the rally as police had attempted to stop people from reaching the venue.
“I am receiving so many calls and SMS from Lahore and Karachi. People want to come but the government had stopped them. There is no gas and no petrol, how will people come out,” she said.
PTI has succeeded in controlling corruption in the KP province up to some extent and police performance is also improved, commented Javed, a resident of Karak.
Baibu Mehsud, clad in jeans and having sunglasses, originally from Waziristan but settled in the Capital, said that she still loves Khan and if other leaders have not delivered anything in five years for public, why people expect miracles from Khan in one year, she said with a plain face.
At least Khan is honest, he is not corrupt, we hope with the passage of time he will learn other things also, she remarked.
Khan has given call for another rally, the turnout in the future rally would exactly tell where this party, which had contested the election in the name of change and to eliminate corruption, stands after its one-year rule.