PTI banking on KP support for capital lockdown

LAHORE -  PTI top leadership is banking on the support of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to lock down Islamabad on November 2 and directed once again the KP leadership to assemble large crowd to overrun hurdles, senior party leaders told The Nation yesterday.

Law enforcement agencies and paramilitary forces have been deputed to tackle with Imran’s threat at Attock bridge, bordering point between KP and Punjab. Containers have also been placed near the bridge and other points of the GT Road to stop the marchers to reach Islamabad.

Containers have been held by the administration across Punjab to block exit points of major cities at GT Road and interchanges at Motorway. Apart from creating hurdles, two civilian intelligence agencies have prepared lists of nearly 5,000 PTI members including parliamentarians, office-bearers, former ticket holders, district leaders and key workers mobilising the activists for Islamabad lockdown plan, according to official sources.

The lists have been forwarded to offices of the two civilian intelligence services starting from division down to the level of district and tehsil to execute detention plan when directed through police.  Monitoring cells in the two civilian intelligence services have been working round the clock to keep an eye on the PTI activists making bids for mobilisation for Islamabad lockdown plan, disclosed the official sources.

Arif Alvi, a senior party leader, told the paper that the party is planning to gather people for Islamabad lockdown from all the provinces but they were relying heavily on KP. He said their priority after KP was Punjab, Sindh and then Balochistan, besides Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

PTI leaders belonging to Sargodha, Faisalbad, Gujranwala, Sahiwal, Multan, Bahawalpur and Rawalpindi division told the paper that top party leadership from Bani Gala has directed them to reach Islamabad on November 2 whatever means and strategy suit them averting detentions and arrests.

Party leadership has directed the key organisers of the November 2 plan to reach Islamabad in small groups well before November 2 and surface on the day of lockdown if they anticipate arrests on the day of the move in their respective towns.  “Keep low profile and avert the radar of the agencies and police. Don’t sleep at your home and don’t use your personal cellphones and transport,” they added.

Official sources told the paper that agencies and police were on stand-by to arrest or detain the PTI activists in Punjab when they are directed to do so.

According to senior officials of a civilian agency, the possible crackdown against the PTI activists could be launched in next 48 hours in Punjab according to the lists.

Imran Khan and other top party leaders could also be taken into custody if the situation took a nasty turn. In another plan, PTI chief along with his close aides could be put under house arrest at his Bani Gala residence, disclosed the civilian agency officials.  PTI top leaders are pondering upon the option of sending Imran to KP somehow in order to launch a massive and forceful show which they think make its way to the federal capital under any circumstances on November 2 to put in action the lockdown plan, disclosed the senior party leaders.

KP leaders had been directed by top leadership from Bani Gala on Friday to amass large crowds for march on Islamabad and launch the campaign in a ‘single go’ and remove all containers at Attock bridge and hurdles onwards up to Islamabad on November 2 come what may.

Meanwhile, PTI foot march (Paidal March) has reached Gujrat under the lead of Ijaz Chaudhry and Shabbir Sial as part of morale boosting campaign and resumes its journey today (Sunday).

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