PTI may launch anti-govt protest from KP

LAHORE - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa can become the launching pad of PTI’s Islamabad lockdown plan if the government decides to detain Imran Khan, the party insiders told The Nation yesterday.

PTI has planned to seal Islamabad on November 2, seeking accountability of the ruling family over the Panama leaks. The Supreme Court has taken up the disqualification pleas and sent notices to the prime minister, his two sons, Maryam Nawaz, Capt (r) Safdar, Ishaq Dar, ECP, NAB and FBR, at the same time dismissing the plea to ban the PTI protest.

Keeping in view the possibilities of Imran Khan’s arrest, the party top leadership is pondering upon sending Imran Khan to KP well before November 2. In case of the KP option, Khan would launch the Islamabad lockdown plan in the wee hours of November 1 from the province where his party is leading the coalition government, disclosed the party insiders.

To deal with possible confrontational situation with the ruling party activists and law enforcers, boys from KP have been called to lead the main force of the party on the day of Islamabad lockdown, added the party insiders.

The PTI leaders from centre down to districts will not sleep at their homes in the decisive phase of the move for Islamabad lockdown plan to avert arrests. Senior party leaders have been directed to reach the federal capital on October 31, using safe passages to avoid arrests.

They have also been directed not to use their cell phones, especially in the last week of the current month when they plan to move to the federal capital, disclosed the party insiders.

In the Punjab, the central region chapter of the party, under the command of Aleem Khan, has been given the main task regarding the November 2 show. The other three regional chapters of the party, including north, south and west, would follow the lead of the central zone. Raja Amir Kiyani, Ishaq Khakwani and Chaudhry Ashfaq would lead the three zones. The Punjab has been focused for major participation of women in the November 2 plan, they added.

According to the lockdown plan, the points to be closed in Islamabad include, Golra More, F-11, G-11 service road point, G-11 entrance to Kashmir Highway, 9th Avenue entrance to Kashmir Highway, 8th Avenue, Zero Point, Faizabad, Islamabad Club Road entrance, Park Road roundabout, entrance to the offices of NAB, FIA, FBR, ECP and entrances to the Parliament, the Senate and Pakistan Secretariat.

PTI insiders’ inputs concerning their strategy to seal the capital and the government’s counter-move hint at the possibilities of confrontation of Imran Khan’s activists with PML-N workers and law-enforcing agencies.

The clash may take place at the office of Election Commission of Pakistan where Imran would go to face a disqualification reference against him on the day of the Islamabad siege plan. The law-enforcing agencies could arrest Khan at ECP, which could turn the situation nasty, said the party insiders, quoting their senior leaders. However, there are possibilities that Imran will send the party lawyers’ team to ECP to represent him, they added.

At the same time, official sources told the paper that the intelligence agencies falling into the civilian domain are of the initial assessments that there are possibilities of confrontation between PTI activists and law enforcers at the election authority’s office on November 2.

PTI activists could make an effort to create a violent situation at the ECP to achieve a part of their plan of sealing a vital government building of the election authority, said the intelligence assessments.

PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi told the paper: “The party is receiving information regarding government’s plan to detain Imran Khan and senior leaders in their houses in a bid to stop them from launching the Islamabad siege plan.”

“Lists have been prepared by the state machinery to detain the PTI leaders. Transporters have also been threatened with serious consequences if they provide vehicles to PTI. The ruling party has also planned to send its activists to attack the peaceful protesters of PTI to turn the event violent to stop Imran Khan from demanding accountability of the corrupt ruling family,” claimed Qureshi.

“The government and its agencies will be solely responsible for any untoward incident during Islamabad lockdown campaign. The reaction to the government’s brute actions will not be restricted to Islamabad, but will spread to all corners of the country, especially Punjab,” he warned.

Civilian intelligence agencies have prepared the lists of what they called trouble-makers among PTI ranks to detain them for a brief period to avert any law and order situation, official sources told the paper.

The agencies have advised the PML-N to make a public announcement to stop the party activists from launching any kind of adventure during Imran Khan’s lockdown plan.

The civilian agencies have also advised the government not to resort to use of force until it becomes inevitable to maintain the writ of law, they added.

The assessments of the civilian agencies also anticipate that Dr Tahirul Qadri’s PAT may join the anti-government drive in a surprise move. Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed is working on the plan.

There are possibilities of a separate anti-government drive under the lead of some religious parties which are not part of the parliament like Dr Qadri’s party, said the assessments.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt