RAWALPINDI - Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, a silver-tongued politician who is popular for his political catchphrases, left everyone in fits yesterday as he played a game of hide and seek with police in Rawalpindi.

The MNA, who heads his Awami Muslim League, not only reached heavily-guarded Committee Chowk but also addressed the charged party workers before successfully slipping from the venue, leaving the security apparatus high and dry.

A video released on his Facebook page showed him using winding streets of the city, which he probably knows better than anyone else, and making his way to the destination on the back of a bike, waving to citizens on the way.

Arriving near the Chowk, he ran towards the media vans parked under the Metro Bus flyover in an unimpressive cordon of only four of his supporters at around 3pm.

“Give me the way. Move aside. I have reached despite the barricades placed by Nawaz Sharif to stop me. Come and see, I am here as per my promise,” he said while gathering his breath, sending a wave of cheers among a few dozen of his supporters who were already there.

Amid ‘Go Nawaz Go’ slogans the AML president was immediately brought on the rooftop of a DSNG of a private TV channel, where an exhausted Rashid lit his cigar before delivering an address, presenting an imagery of Thug Life.

The opposition leader, who was in hiding to avert arrest, had originally planned to hold a public meeting at his Lal Haveli residence along with the PTI. But police had blocked all the roads and streets leading to Lal Haveli.

In his brief address, he criticised the erroneous policies of the PML-N government, urging the people to come out of their houses to lock down Islamabad on November 2 to get rid of ‘corrupt’ rulers.

“I will live like Hazrat Ali (RA) and (I would) die like Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA),” he said. He claimed his party workers were being arrested by the police.

So far, the police had arrested a total of 450 party workers and raids were being conducted at the houses of other party leaders and workers, including females, to harass and nab them, he alleged.

Sheikh Rashid said the ‘corrupt’ Sharifs and their gangs had made the lives of poor people a hell and he along with Imran Khan and PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri had come on the roads to revive democracy, strengthen the country and for the accountability of the corrupt rulers.

He said police, following orders of the government, sealed the city and Lal Haveli to sabotage his public gathering, but he went on as per his plan to address the people.

Rashid termed Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah a drumbeater of Sharifs. Sanaullah and Sharifs would soon be languishing in jail because of their corruption and other wrong deeds, he said.

“I challenge the government and police to arrest me,” he shouted, as police kept firing teargas shells during his speech that irritated the media personnel and opposition activists.

He said PTI and PAT were with AML and they would lock down Islamabad on November 2. He also urged the people of Rawalpindi to come out from their houses and join the troika to oust Sharifs. He said the residents of Raja Bazaar were living in a state of fear and facing shortage of edibles because of closure of the roads.

Soon after addressing the gathering and the media, Sheikh Rashid escaped from the venue on a motorcycle, the way he had come.

Broadcast on almost all TV channels of the country, the dramatic entry and exit of Sheikh Rasheed took everyone on a spin. In no time, he had also completely taken over the country’s Twittersphere.