Imran Khan urges PTI workers to reach Rawalpindi on Saturday for ‘a big protest rally’

ISLAMABAD/ RAWAT       -             Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday asked his party leaders and supporters to reach Rawalpindi on November 26 for a ‘big protest rally’ to force the government to announce early elections. “I am inviting the entire nation to reach Rawalpindi on November 26 (next Saturday). I will meet you there,” Imran said while addressing through video-link to the participants of the long march in Rawat, an outskirt of the garrison city Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Imran said, “I will announce my next plan of action there.” The cricketer-turned politician who recently sustained bullet injuries also said that he would personally arrive in the garrison city to lead my protest campaign. With the announcement of Khan, the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s long march that had embarked from Lahore in the last week of October virtually ended with the ex-premier giving another call of protest to his followers. Political analysts say that Chairman PTI Khan, in its November 26 rally, can ask his supporters to march towards Islamabad to put pressure on the federal government to meet his demand. After Khan survived an assassination attempt while leading the long march in Wazirabad area of Punjab, senior party leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi had led the anti-government march that finally reached Rawat hours before the address of the PI chief. Meanwhile, PTI Secretary General Asad Umar had made a tour to Faisalabad region to mobilise the party workers and also reached the confluence of Rawalpindi and Islamabad while leading a rally. PTI’s supporters from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also joined the marchers at that point. “The change will not come while sitting at home,” Khan told his supporters while addressing from Zaman Park Lahore via video link. He said that there was no way out except holding free and fair elections and they would continue making this demand. “Our struggle for real independence (Haqeeqi Azadi) will continue until people get their rights.” Ex-premier Khan criticised the powerful establishment by questioning what benefit the country got through the regime since he was ousted from power in April this year. He underlined that the rising inflation and bad performance of all sectors during the last seven month clearly showed that the decision to bring the present political parties’ coalition into power was wrong. He reminded that former military ruler General (retired) Pervez Musharraf had ousted both ruling families belonging to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples party (PPP) from power on charges of corruption. He claimed that the people had voted for him in the 2018 General Election in reaction to corrupt practices of both political parties. He again questioned that what was the cause that only over a period of three years, these people (parties) became acceptable for establishment after dry-cleaning and were imposed on them? He claimed that the country was moving fast on the economic front under his rule. Khan went on to say that if it should be believed that the establishment didn’t conspire against the PTI government, even then it could stop the two ruling parties from coming into power as it knew their past. He claimed that the country’s intelligence agencies knew all details about politicians and files of corruption of the present ruling parties were already with them. Former prime minister appealed to the masses not to be neutral in the present political circumstances, otherwise their children would have to repent. He said that he failed to nominate all three accused in the case of failed assassination attempt on him despite his party was ruling the Punjab province, where the incident happened. He said that the police were even ready to nominate Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan in the first information report (FIR). He also gave reference to alleged torture on party leaders Senator Azam Khan Swati and Dr Shahbaz Gill while in police custody as well mysterious killing of Arshad Sharif in Kenya and said that no one got justice in this country. “If we cannot get justice, how can the common people get justice in this country?” Khan claimed that his life was still under threat and those who already had attempted to assassinate him were sitting over there to get another chance. “I knew that they are planning to kill me,” he said, adding that he would always prefer death over slavery. He said that his party’s struggle to bring the powerful under the ambit of law would continue. Government has conditionally allowed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf to hold its public rally in the Federal Capital. A notification to this effect was issued by the office of District Magistrate Islamabad on Saturday. Under the notification envisaging also terms and conditions, the permission to hold rally will be valid for route from Koral Chowk, Islamabad Expressway till Chak Beli More Rawat, Rawalpindi through T-cross Islamabad on 19th November. Participants are disallowed to block any road, vandalise public property, or raise anti-state slogans. The notification states that every type of gathering or rally apart from this place will be an illegal assembly and action will be taken in case of violation. A traffic plan would be also issued to ensure smooth flow of traffic. In a tweet, the capital police said section 144 will remain in place in areas other than the route permitted for the march. Under the conditions, participants won’t be allowed to block any road, vandalise public property, or raise anti-state slogans. Police warned of action if any of the rally participants were spotted carrying arms or violating the prescribed code. A traffic plan would be also issued to ensure smooth flow of traffic. PTI has been granted NOC by the Islamabad administration to hold a rally in the Capital but on 35 conditions. PTI has been given the permission to hold peaceful rally on the application of party leader Ali Nawaz Awan. A deal between PTI and Islamabad administration was made in which 35 conditions were made. Islamabad Deputy Commissioner issued the NOC to PTI for holding a rally from Koral Chowk to Chak Beili Rawat. The Islamabad DC cautioned the PTI that their rally is not allowed to alter the route fixed already. Any deviation from the rally route will ultimately lead to cancellation of the NOC, the DC added.

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