PML-N workers from across the country are expected to participate in the event. The Murree Road and Liaquat Road have been decorated with banners and boards carrying pictures of Maryam Nawaz along with PML-N MPs as well as local leaders and supporters. “I am Nawaz Sharif” is the slogan mentioned on nearly every poster, banner and billboard beneath the picture of Maryam Nawaz.
The preparations being made by PML-N city chapter caused a massive traffic jam on Saturday in Raja Bazaar and Liaquat Bagh areas and on Murree Road. Even scores of ambulances carrying patients got stuck in the bumper-to-bumper traffic, as the traffic police failed to control the traffic mess.
The Metro Bus Service will remain operational to facilitate the PML-N workers and supporters to reach the venue.
All arrangements for the convention have been completed. Maryam Nawaz Sharif will be accorded warm welcome upon her arrival in the city considered to be a castle of PML-N, Mayor Rawalpindi Sardar Nasim said while talking to The Nation.
He added that a camp would be set up at Committee Chowk to receive Maryam Nawaz Sharif. “We have mobilised all our leaders and workers to make the convention a success,” he said. Similarly, all the MPs as well as union council chairmen and vice chairmen have planned to take out rallies from their areas to participate in the convention, he said.
Meanwhile, traffic police announced a special traffic plan to facilitate participants of the convention and the general public. The police, following the instructions of City Police Officer Israr Ahmed Abbasi, also have made tight security arrangements to shield the leadership and participants of the convention.
Also, officials of Rawalpindi Municipal Committee could be seen hanging banners and repairing the broken street lights installed from Liauqat Bagh Chowk to Fawara Chowk causing gigantic traffic jam. In violation of the orders of DG Punjab Horticulture Authority, the PML-N workers and the RMC staff affixed banners over the pillars erected for elevated corridor of the Metro Bus Service.
Talking to The Nation, Malik Abdul Samad, PML-N Youth Wing representative, said that he would bring a rally from his area to join the main gathering at Fawara Chowk. He said that Maryam Nawaz was out on a mission to restore the sanctity of vote and to explain the people as to how an elected prime minister was ousted for a crime he never committed. “We will stage a big show of power in Fawara Chowk under the leadership of Maryam Nawaz Sharif,” he vowed.
On the other hand, a meeting was also held by Mayor Rawalpindi Sardar Nasim and some other MPs of PML-N in a private hotel to review the arrangements for the convention. The meeting was also attended by MNA Malik Abrar Ahmed, former MNAs Hanif Abbasi and Malik Shakil Awan, former Tehsil Naib Nazim Khan Sajjad Khan, Managing Director Pakistan Baitul Mal Barrister Abid Waheed Sheikh, member technocrat RMC Javed Mughal and other party leaders. It was decided that all the chairmen of union councils and MPs would reach the venue in shape of small groups to avoid traffic mess on roads.
In order to keep the traffic flow smooth and to facilitate the PML-N workers and the residents, CTO Chaudhry Shahid Ali Yousaf prepared a comprehensive traffic plan. According to him, all kinds of traffic would not be allowed to ply towards Fawara Chowk whereas the vehicles would be diverted on substitute routes by the traffic wardens. He said that a total of 5 DSPs, 25 inspectors, 224 wardens and 26 junior wardens would perform duties to control traffic rush today.
As many as 2,000 personnel of Punjab police and other law enforcement agencies will be deputed in the city to protect participants of the convention, said City Police Officer Israr Ahmed Khan. He said that the sections of Elite Force, personnel of Special Branch, mount riders and Quick Response Force would also be on duty to assist the police to avoid any untoward incident on the occasion.
“Search operations are also being carried out in the city to flush out the suspected elements,” the CPO said, adding that all the hotels, motels and guest houses were also being checked to collect data of people staying there. He, however, rebuffed reports that district administration or police would seal the roads leading to Fawara Chowk by placing containers as per security plan and said that all the roads would remain open for traffic movement.