Stage set for Ehtesab March

Khan likely to intensify accountability campaign if rulers refuse to budge

LAHORE - The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf is all set for its Raiwind rally tilted ‘Ehtesab March’ today, calling for an independent inquiry into Panama leaks that exposed ruling Sharif’s alleged assets abroad.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who landed in Lahore on September 26 for a two-day visit, extended his stay till the demo day to lead the mobilisation campaign on the suggestion of his aides who found it difficult to rally 100,000 supporters.

Imran Khan yesterday visited 10 major mobilisation camps set up by party ticket-holders in 13 National Assembly constituencies of the provincial capital.

The camps were set up at Sabzi Mandi, Bhati Gate, Nasir Bagh, Babu Sabu, Ichra, Liberty Chowk, Ghaas Mandi-GT Road, Mughalpura, Ghazi Chowk and Wapda Town.

The stage on a container has been set at Adda Point – the venue where Imran Khan will address his supporters. The Adda Plot has the capacity 150,000 people.

The stage will be the face of the moot, while its tail is facing towards Bhoptian Chowk. The distance from Bhoptian Chowk to Adda Plot is some 2.5km.

The procession will pass through Doctors Society, Ali Garh, Ali Raza Abad, Dubai Town and Kot Bagh to make it to Adda Plot.

All party ticket-holders and party’s central Punjab region leadership were given the target of gathering 100,000 supporters at the Raiwind rally.

For the purpose, party leaders from the country have been directed to reach Raiwind with maximum number of their supporters to make the march successful as the future of PTI in Punjab depends on it.

A separate enclosure is set up for women to avoid any unpleasant incident which were reported during its previous demos. The women enclosure’s security will be the responsibility of Insaf Student Federation (ISF) and Youth Wing.

The inner cordon of security will also be managed by the ISF and Youth Wing, said Zaheer Abbas Khokhar, party president (rural chapter).

The party groups have started arriving in the city from north Punjab, KP, Islamabad and southern Punjab. Party banners and posters inscribed with slogans demanding accountability of the influential were seen in the city.

Imran Khan had made a final round to conclude the mobilisation campaign late yesterday night by visiting main venue.

He asked his party activists, especially the youth, to play their due role in making Raiwind rally historic.

No mainstream opposition party will join in except Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed as the PTI had not extended a formal invitation to any opposition party, including Jamaat-i-Islami that is its coalition partner in KP.

Imran Khan is expected to announce an extensive campaign instead of peaceful marches today if the ruling family failed to respond to his party’s demands of accountability.

 “I will announce my party’s next line of action at Raiwind on September 30 if our demands of accountability are not accepted. The next move is likely to be a widespread agitation campaign. The Ehtesab March is a peaceful protest to mobilise the masses to become part of the accountability drive while the next move can be intensive, which may ignite unrest,” he told the media at the residence of party secretary general.

He said, “I will take on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi today.”

In another media talk during his late night visit to Adda Plot, Imran invited activists of all political forces including the PML-N to join him for accountability of the ruling family and other influential people exposed in Panama leaks.

“The activists of the ruling party knew that the top party leadership is involved in corrupt practices,” he claimed.

About Indian aggression, he said the Army is fully capable of defending the homeland and his party stands by it.

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