LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) took out a large rally at the Minar-e-Pakistan ground in Lahore on Sunday.
More than 100,000 supporters gathered as a show of strength in what is traditionally the PML-N stronghold.
PTI chief Imran Khan warned politicians to declare their assets or his party would launch a civil disobedience movement against them.
Speaking on issues plaguing the country, Khan said that his party would stand with minorities and work for the rights of women.
He said PTI would also give the Baloch their rights and “not colonise them.”
End of live updates
The national anthem was played at the end of the ceremony.
“All politicians should declare their assets. PTI is forming a special cell to probe foreign assets owned by politicians.”
“We will go to the Supreme Court, we will for a independent Election Commission, if politicians do not declare their assets.”
“We will run a civil disobedience movement if they do not declare their assets.”
“We will stand with you not because I am shouting political slogans, but because it is my duty to stand with the weaker class.”
“PTI will stand with the minorities.”
“For the women of Pakistan, PTI is that party which will get you your rights. We will work on education for women,” says Khan
“When they get education they will stand for their rights.”
“My message to India on the presence of their army in Kashmir is that that a military solution has never helped solve anything,” says the PTI chief.
“I am going on a tour to China tonight on the invitation of the government of China. We will strengthen our ties with China.”
“We will give rights to the people of Balochistan. We will make them our brothers and not colonise them.”
“Tribal elders have pledged to ensure peace if the army withdraws from the tribal areas. They have said leave it to us, will end terrorism ourselves,” says Khan.
“PTI will ensure that Pakistan Army never launches an operation against its own citizens and that we never beg any country ever again.”
“We need to get rid of the patwari system,” says Khan.
“Pakistan’s assemblies are full of the kabza group. They support the patwari system because they get money from them.”
“PTI will make the police a non-political force.”
“Mian sahib jaan diyoo, sadee baree aan diyo.”
“Zardari wrote to the Americans, asked them to protect him from the Army, said that he will bring his own generals.”
“The biggest problem that Pakistan faces today is corruption. We are America’s slaves because of corruption,” says Khan.
“PTI will wipe out corruption. We will make a law that those who do not declare their assets will not be allowed to take part in politics.”
“Those in Raiwind and Islamabad should know that it is not a flood that is coming, but a tsunami.”
“Hum aaj eik nayee Pakistan ka aghaz ker rahay hain,” says Imran Khan.
“Today I greet all the rickshaw drivers , taxi drivers… civil servants who have secretly come here, policemen who are happy on the inside.”
Crowds cheer as Imran Khan approaches the podium.
PTI chief Imran Khan is now addressing the rally.
“We have worked hard and tried to bring change for 15 years,” says Imran Khan.
“Today Allah has listened to us.”
The national anthem is now being played at the rally.
Express 24/7 reports that conservative estimates put the crowd at 150,000.
Strings are now performing on stage.
Singer Shahzaman is now performing on stage.
Express 24/7 correspondent Rabia Mehmood reporting the rally is very organised despite the large number of people who have arrived.
PTI’s online supporters have started using the hash tag #OMP on Twitter to signify ‘Occupy Minar-e-Pakistan’.
Shehzad Roy is trending worldwide on Twitter.
Singer and social worker Shehzad Roy is performing on stage.
PTI Secretary General Arif Alvi had earlier told AFP that Khan “will make important announcements regarding the country’s politics and future course of action.”
“The wind of change of has started in the country and anyone coming in its way would be eliminated,” Alvi said and added “Tehreek-e-Insaf wants the rule of people constitution and law in the country.”
“It is going to be historic. We have our supporters and voters coming from Lahore and its suburban areas and the expected gathering would be over 100,000 people,” Malik Zaheer Abbas Khokhar, a member of the party’s organising committee had said.
“We have been reassured by the provincial police chief about the security of the gathering and smooth flow of traffic for our convoys,” Khokhar had told AFP.
Senior police official Ghulam Mahmood Dogar told reporters that all steps had been taken to provide “fool-proof” security at the public meeting.
Express 24/7 correspondent Rabia Mehmood reports that the number of people at the venue has now crossed 100,000.
Roads from Minto Park upto the secretariat, railway station and Ravi bridge are blocked.
Supporters are still arriving at the venue.
Asad Kharal reports that PTI organisers are claiming that the PML-N government has shut down cable services in Lahore using police and other departments.
Asad Kharal reports that more than 50,000 people are inside the venue, and there are people present out in the streets.
Police and rescue service personnel are also present behind the stage.
PTI chief Imran Khan said his Maghrib prayers on stage.
Mian Azhar is addressing the rally.
“Change will come,” says the PTI leader.
PTI leaders have started addressing the rally.
Asad Kharal reports the barrier/grill around the venue has been broken.
Asad Kharal reports that the venue has been filled up to capacity and there are supporters standing outside. Families are still arriving at the venue with flags and posters.
All roads leading up to the venue are full of people on foot and in vehicles.
PTI supporters were seen ripping Hamza Shahbaz and Nawaz Sharif posters placed in high places near the venue.
Asad Kharal reports there is a massive traffic jam within a 2-3 kilometre radius of Minar-e-Pakistan.
Ambulances are also stuck in the jam and are finding it difficult to find a way out.
omarchughtai 150,000 there already. For every 1 there, there’s a thousand people getting ready to go.
Amnaa_tariq Imran Khan is using no Bullet Proof Glass
PTI chief Imran Khan has arrived and is on stage.
A massive crowd is seen waving party flags and cheering the arrival of Khan.
The Express Tribune correspondent Asad Kharal reports PTI officials have claimed that a major portion of the 45,000 seating arrangement at the rally has been covered.
Around 1,100 to 1,200 supporters have arrived from four constituencies of Nankana district.
PTI convener Sajjad Haider Randhawa led 700 to 800 people from the PP-170 Sangla constituency of the district. The supporters arrived in 25 vehicles – two big buses, eight cars and 15 coasters.
Muhammad Ishaq led a convoy of 13 vehicles carrying 250-300 people from PP-170 Shahkot.
No vehicles or people have arrived at the rally from PP-172 Nankana City, the constituency of sitting MPA of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Rai Shahnawaz Bhatti.
According to Express 24/7 correspondent Rabia Mehmood, thousands of students have shown up to support the PTI. A majority of the crowd is made up of young people.
Over 6,000 people have gathered so far, and many people are arriving by bus and by foot.
Dancing, cheering and slogan raising is the focus of the rally at this stage.
People from all over the country, from all age groups and backgrounds are arriving at the venue to attend Imran Khan’s rally.
The party chief is expected to make an ‘important announcement’ in today’s address.
Correspondent Rabia Mehmood describes a festive air at the ground:
Aside from ground activity, the PTI is effectively using social media tools such as Twitter to build support for today’s rally, using the Twitter hashtag#PTIjalsa.
The PTI are also broadcasting the rally live here.
Express 24/7 correspondent Rabia Mehmood says approximately 5-6,000 people have gathered around Minar-i-Pakistan for the PTI rally so far.
The organisers set 2pm as the official time for the rally to kick off.
Around 1,500 policemen including 50 Elite Force personnel are to be deployed at Minar-i-Pakistan. Thirty-two walkthrough gates monitored by CCTV cameras have been installed at the venue.
The protest area has been divided into four zones, with a superintendent of police given charge of a zone each.
The Insaf Student Federation (ISF), the student wing of Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), says it expects some 7,000 students from schools in the city to join its public meeting at Minar-i-Pakistan today.
Imran, whose party has been making significant inroads as a ‘street power’ but has yet to do well in elections, is being seen by observers as at least a ‘game changer’ in coming parliamentary polls, especially in Punjab’s urban areas.
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