PTI to double the numbers at Islamabad

Opposition party sets 200,000 participants target for capital lockdown

 LAHORE -  PTI has set a minimum target of two 200,000 participants for its Islamabad siege plan to force Prime Minister Nawaz Shairf to step down or present himself for accountability under ToRs prepared by the opposition parties for Panama leaks probe.

Party insiders told The Nation yesterday that senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders during a consultative meeting with Imran Khan proposed they should gather at least 200,000 participants for Islamabad lockdown plan.

In view of the good results achieved from the mobilisation campaign for Sept 30 Raiwind show, they also suggested the party chief embark on tours of Punjab, KPK and other provinces after Ashura to mobilise people for the October 30 action.

PTI had set a minimum target of 100,000 participants for Sept 30 Raiwind rally, which was part of the Ehtesaab March – a campaign to demand accountability of the ruling family and others in pursuance of Panama Papers disclosures.

Khan led rallies in different cities from Sept 27 to the night of Sept 29. His tactic worked and the party held a successful show at Raiwind which according to independent and official estimates attracted more than 100,000 participants.

In his address at Raiwind PTI chief had announced that his party would move to lay a siege of Islamabad but he did not give any specific date for it.

On Friday, he addressed a press conference at his Bani Gala residence and announced locking down Islamabad on October 30 if the prime minister did not resign or present himself for accountability until the end of Muharram.

“I will not let the premier stay in power if he did not pay heed to PTI’s call for accountability,” he warned.

“PTI will make efforts to double the number of participants on October 30 in Islamabad as compared to September 30 Raiwind show,” PTI secretary general Jahangir Khan Tareen told this paper when contacted.

The party would accelerate its efforts in this regard after Ashura and hold consultative meetings with leaders from all provinces. Party chief would lead the key activities for Islamabad campaign, he added.

“The ruling party was of the assessment that PTI would not succeed in achieving its participants’ target at Raiwind. PTI leadership is of the assessment that ruling party would make all out efforts to block Ehtesaab March on Islamabad keeping in view Raiwind success,” observed Mr Tareen.

Ruling party contacts told The Nation that the government would assess the situation after the Ashura and possibly make a decision to respond to PTI’s threat in the last week of Muharram.

Some top figures in government think Imran Khan’s announcement regarding federal capital lockdown date and publication of a ‘false story’ making allegations against prime national institutions on the same day were not a coincident.

Mr Tareen responding to it said the ruling party puts the burden of its every misfortune on PTI. To cover their failures the ruling party and the government have long been accusing Imran Khan and his party of the support of the establishment, he held.

The rulers should take seriously Imran Khan’s deadline as PTI would not leave Islamabad until acceptance of its demands regarding accountability, he warned.

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