‘Mammoth’ rally: PTI looks to make history at Liaquat Bagh today

Published: May 27, 2012

PTI workers prepare the stage for party rally in Liaquat Bagh. PHOTO: NNI

ISLAMABAD: 

Imran Khan’s rally today at the historic Liaquat Bagh, situated at the confluence of the army headquarters and parliament, appears to be a make-or-break event for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI).

It will also be the first significant political show by the PTI since the retirement of former intelligence chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, who has been blamed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for supporting Khan.

Leaders claim that “the PTI tsunami will restore moral disapprobation to corruption, and the campaign will offer the emerging political party an opportunity to show its power to the PML-N.”

Khan is likely to announce his party’s strategy for the next parliamentary elections.  Arrangements to attract hundreds of thousands of people to Liaquat Bagh have been finalised, complete with the formation of 10 committees working on a strategy to make the event a success.

“It will be the first time that the PTI will meet people of the garrison city … a big show will prove which party is really highlighting the issues of masses,” said PTI leader Ishaq Khan Khakwani.

Party members say that the main objective of the rally is to force the government to implement the Supreme Court’s orders, inform the public about how the government gave in to US pressure to reopen Nato supply routes as well as to set up grounds for kicking off a political fight against the PML-N.

“This rally will be as a litmus test for the local PML-N leadership as well,” said chief organiser Amir Mehmood Kiani.  The PML-N, however, does not seem so impressed. According to Shakeel Awan, a PML-N MNA from Rawalpindi, the “head of the Metrological Department (General Pasha)” has retired, so the so-called tsunami has not been working out.

He added that the rally will only prove how the PTI has failed to stand on its own feet, and will be the first political rally in which locals will not participate. “We will fully facilitate the PTI to organise the rally, but cannot guarantee that people will turn up,” he claimed.  The PML-N leadership has long claimed that Rawalpindi is their stronghold since most of their lawmakers in parliament are from the city.

Meanwhile, party officials said special security arrangements will be made and PTI workers will be deputed in residential areas, including Arya Mohalla. Organisers also claim to have designed over 150,000 banners inscribed with slogans against the leadership. “We hope over 100,000 people will attend the rally,” said Kiani.

PTI organisers dealing with financial matters told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity that an estimated Rs9 million to Rs10 million will be spent on the upcoming rally. All PTI leaders are contributing, they said.

He added that the district government will make all security arrangements.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2012.

Reader Comments (77)

  • YP Toronto
    May 27, 2012 - 10:23AM

    Best of luck.

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  • Asim Mengal
    May 27, 2012 - 10:59AM

    It will be another Tsunami. PTI youth wing, ISF, is strong and will make this event a success. I am sure that resident of twin cities will come out as we did in Balochistan. Wish good luck.

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  • ali
    May 27, 2012 - 11:53AM

    I wanted to be part of the revolution, but cant miss the IPL final

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  • ali
    May 27, 2012 - 11:56AM

    @ali:
    what a shame

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  • Moin
    May 27, 2012 - 12:13PM

    @ali
    U gotta wake up boy, IPL or Pakistan ? faisla aap ka.

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  • Sam
    May 27, 2012 - 12:42PM

    Wishing IK and entire PTI best of luck.

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  • Muhammad Ali
    May 27, 2012 - 12:47PM

    iA i shall be attending the rally (including family & siblings), Rawalpindi is already giving the look of a bride being decorated for a grand wedding with all the beautiful banners, iA this event shall be another punch to the status quo after lahore, karachi and quetta. Its time to stand up and be counted- other events can wait – Insaf ZindabadRecommend

  • Pungi
    May 27, 2012 - 12:59PM

    Liaquat Bagh jalsa is going to be a shutup call for all those saying PTI is supported by agencies..!

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  • zia
    May 27, 2012 - 1:01PM

    @ali:
    ah…Thats not a world cup final!! Common dude!!

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  • Ahmed
    May 27, 2012 - 1:11PM

    Who are performinf today at this rally. If its known it will help attract music lovers.

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  • May 27, 2012 - 2:40PM

    In the eyes of media, this guy, called Imran Khan, has continuously been making history ever since he entered politics. But it still remains to be proved. His so-called success is confined so far to his ” historical ” (or hysterical) speeches. I sincerely hope that he will not find a fresh excuse to bycott

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  • zia
    May 27, 2012 - 2:41PM

    PTI Zindabad.

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  • Majid
    May 27, 2012 - 3:22PM

    no one has noticed that pti is spending 9 to 10 million on only one rallly??? is it not joke? how they will bring change ? is this not nonsense with this poor country? spent this money for welfare of poor not for Rally. this is not change but another feudalism…

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  • faraz
    May 27, 2012 - 4:06PM

    @Everyone

    I am just not attending the jalsa, but vote is for PTI

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  • uncle
    May 27, 2012 - 4:06PM

    @ali: beta, glad to see someone has their priorities straight.

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  • Salman
    May 27, 2012 - 4:13PM

    how is it a make or break event? what does that even mean? Pti is a reality. pml-n can remain skeptics….but they are in for a big shock come election day..

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  • Salman
    May 27, 2012 - 4:15PM

    first significant political show? maybe you forgot the massive quetta jalsa?

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  • Salman Zafar
    May 27, 2012 - 4:16PM

    Good luck IK and PTI.
    Give a shut up to those who say that PTI is nothing and supported by agencies.

    Had there been no exams of mine next week… i would have definitely gone there…

    :-(

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  • aliza
    May 27, 2012 - 4:19PM

    Wish I could be there too….
    All the Best PTI,We love You..Recommend

  • Tch tch
    May 27, 2012 - 4:19PM

    PML N in for a big surprise IA

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  • Noor
    May 27, 2012 - 4:23PM

    best of luck PTI

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  • omer
    May 27, 2012 - 4:26PM

    How about a long march to the Punjab assembly?

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  • Arif
    May 27, 2012 - 4:30PM

    I would like to quote something from an article recently published:

    “I’m afraid, from a junior Bhutto to a senior Sharif we wouldn’t be left with a lot of choices if this is how we chose our leaders.

    And speaking of leaders, I support Imran Khan because the leaders that my votes have put in power don’t inspire me. My life is difficult as it is, and I don’t have patience for a detached world where corrupt billionaires play victims and democracy serves the purpose of revenge. I have had enough.

    Imran Khan speaks of my realities. His aspirations for my country are similar to mine. So what should I do? Should I stubbornly tell myself that no, good things can never happen to me, and painstakingly find arguments that feed my scepticism? Or should I get up and say: Ok, it seems very difficult, I don’t know how this man is going to do it, but then look at his track record. He is not an angel from the heavens, but he is credible. Credible, but human nevertheless, who like all humans is bound to make mistakes.

    So let’s not attack him before he has even starts. Let’s help him out. He probably needs it.”

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  • May 27, 2012 - 4:34PM

    PTI on fire

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  • pakistani
    May 27, 2012 - 4:39PM

    Imran khan’s speech:

    Mian sb. jan deo sadi bari aan deo.
    Mian sb asli sher bano aur isamlion se resign do.
    Mian nawaz sharif is responsible for all the ills in this country.
    Mian sb. is responsible for problems in sindh
    Mian sb is responsible for missimg persons and bad governance in balochistan.
    Mian sb……..aisa jalsa kar ke dikhao.
    Mian sb………………..
    Mian sb……………………………….
    Mian sb………………………………………

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  • Khurram
    May 27, 2012 - 4:43PM

    Sorry to say but again PTI told in a Press Conference that this rally is to show the Power to PMLN. I have no idea Why PTI is only obsessed with one Party which is in opposition. I am quiet shocked that in Press Conference of PTI we only heard PMLN but we never heard any word of PPP, MQM or ANP. PTI will surely see its downfall in coming future with One Party Obsession.Recommend

  • Freeman
    May 27, 2012 - 4:47PM

    Who cares about IPL. I like so much cricket but IPL is not in my league. Recommend

  • ayesha azeem
    May 27, 2012 - 4:48PM

    Noora league remains Skeptic,lolz,Who cares about them,when entire nation is supporting PTIRecommend

  • Freeman
    May 27, 2012 - 4:51PM

    @Khurram: I can’t agree with you. We are voter of PTI and you cannot decide for future of PTI. PTI Graph will increase more and more in future.

    PPP and ANP already finished so there is no need to talk about them. Imran khan so many times talked about PPP as well so this IS not true that PTI only obssessed about PML(N).

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  • Zamir Malik
    May 27, 2012 - 4:52PM

    The real Potohars which have to give votes to Imran Khan give a damn to this rally. All the people from KPK are coming to attend this rally to show the Strength of One Ethnicity over others but Believe me real Potharis are not attending this rally. Stop this Invasion of Other Ethncities to Our City. Leave us Alone. After Karachi now our city is being run down by Non Locals. But i am sure Only true Representative and Locals will be Given votes in Next elections.Potoharis will not accept any candidate from South Punjab which Imran Khan is promoting now a days.Recommend

  • Shoaib
    May 27, 2012 - 4:57PM

    Only people of other cities will be seen here and some burger bacha bachis from Islamabad Local Rawalpindi residents are not interested.

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  • Usman
    May 27, 2012 - 5:07PM

    If we can give many chances to PPP and PML N then why not give just one chance to Imran Khan. I am sure he will not be worst than current govt. Why so much arguments and picking words from the speeches, kindly be logical and let’s give him just one chance. He did what he thought and we all know about him.

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  • Abdul Azeem
    May 27, 2012 - 5:08PM

    Best of Luck, show the braveness to the circus lion.

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  • Zulqarnain
    May 27, 2012 - 5:10PM

    I like, big sporter PTI may pti succeeded.

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  • Sana Khan (PTI)
    May 27, 2012 - 5:15PM

    We are in Karachi and we welcome PTI for another Tsunami here…

    Can’t join today,,, but Vote is for PTI – Karachi has Changed.

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  • PakJam
    May 27, 2012 - 5:20PM

    @Zamir Malik: if you think you are leader for potoharis (Pakistanis), why don’t you join PTI and contest for party elections? No body has stopped you. Mind you,in elections, potoharis(Pakistanis) will only vote for PTI and not any other ghissi pitti party. including (Sheikh Rasheed)

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  • Gilgiti-No voting right but Proud Pakistani
    May 27, 2012 - 5:28PM

    Good luck for the change in Pakistan, overseas Pakistani are keen to see the progress of PTI..

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  • Gul Khan Momand
    May 27, 2012 - 5:30PM

    @ali:
    Pakistani expats are buying expansive air tickets to join PTI rally and you…..ahhh.

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  • Ahmed
    May 27, 2012 - 5:30PM

    Rawalpindi and Pothohar have always inclination towards party votes. No matters whats are the odds of party winning but votes always remained attached to parties and not personalities. This will remain true in coming elections as well.

    In my opinion, PML-N has still edge in Rawalpindi politics. PPP always maintains its vote bank whatever it is. If anything is going to change, it would be new voters, voting for the first time. Lets see about that………..

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  • geeko
    May 27, 2012 - 5:33PM

    @Khurram:
    PPP is doing itself a great job to destroy it’s only – yes, you read it – vote-bank in Sindh (Lyari operation.)
    The “cake” is now Punjab : PTI’s already first in KPK and Balochistan, and Sindh is their next target, but for the moment their plan is to win Punjab, and Rawalpindi, the fortress of PML-N, will have a symbolic effect.

    Mind you, PTI is technically the only “national” party, as it has a strong vote-bank in every part of the country : as I said, PPP’s only area is (in the near future, was) restricted to ethnic Sindh and some parts of southern Punjab, whereas PML-N never had any credible weight outside Punjab.

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  • Ali Wali
    May 27, 2012 - 5:35PM

    Who barrowed these plastic chairs!

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  • Ahmed
    May 27, 2012 - 5:36PM

    @Freeman:

    Dear I am sorry to bring this up, but how many times you have actually voted. PTI boycotted 2008 elections and for this PTI should accept its mistake that it allowed other parties free chance to do their politics. Then again they boycotted resulting in non-represenatation from Election Committee, PTI itself is to blame for it. Now I hope they do not boycott next coming elections.

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  • Shuweikh Haqqani
    May 27, 2012 - 5:36PM

    Although I am in UAE now, I was Karachi in time for the 25 December PTI jalsa <3 LOVED it. I had to take a bus from one corner of Karachi to the other. It seemed like the WHOLE city was going to the jalsa! All the best for today’s jalsa, Imran Khan!

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  • Faraz
    May 27, 2012 - 5:41PM

    Some sources claims that sheikh rasheed is also coming is that true… ??

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  • Ahmed
    May 27, 2012 - 5:42PM

    @geeko:

    Dear which vote bank you are talking about? PTI has never seriously contested elections so far.

    PTI won one seat in NA a long time ago (and that of Imran Khan himself) and afterwards it is boycotting every next elections. PTI is yet to enetr in the formal electoral process as a party. I am saying so becasue it has never entered Parliament as a party; there are many one-member parties so I assume IK’s erstwhile membership of NA does not constitute as PTI being part of parliament,

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  • Sajjad
    May 27, 2012 - 5:43PM

    mashallah ’10 million Rupees’ rally . God , facebook and money on tsunammi;’s side.

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  • May 27, 2012 - 5:48PM

    i dont want to waste my time in such aimless rallies IK has done nothing his home work yet that with the reference of which frame work what he will do?but instead of it he wants only power at any cost. only words are not enough. my dear friends when i see and read the histories of developed countries it becomes obvious to me that the political parties of their countries have real zeal and zest n which is only reflexive to their manifesto. but in for example in USA during their election campaign i didnt see that either OBAMA or MACcAN are taunting each other but only stick to policies, facts and figures. but in pakistan IK ha ha has only manifesto like NOORA kushti or MUKMUKA on which his whole politics based on.SO be wise my friends.

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  • Chilli
    May 27, 2012 - 5:50PM

    Oh the ugly and scary Liaquat Bagh a killing field of patriotic leaders. May Allah Save Imran from evil forces.

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  • Acorn Guts
    May 27, 2012 - 5:56PM

    ooh look plastic chairs!

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  • Qayyum
    May 27, 2012 - 6:02PM

    Word in Sindh is that PTI is spending up to 5 crore on MPAs and 10crore on MNAs as I have been in contact with a former MPA of Q League Who cannot decide whether to join PMLN or PTI in Sindh. This is necessarily the case because that MPA is a close family friend, and all my hopes with PTI had shattered when they came to Karachi and failed to speak out against that political party which runs things here. It’s saddening to see the politics of the new PTI, when Imran was alone I supported him.

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  • abdullah
    May 27, 2012 - 6:10PM

    go imran go ..the whole pindi is supporting u… v r fedup of the corrupt politicians….

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    May 27, 2012 - 6:13PM

    We know what Imran would say in rally, but we don’t know what IPL’s result would be. Therefore its better to spend time on what we don’t know. Imran, himself would prefer IPL match rather listening himself. Rally is a waste of time.

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  • Ahmed
    May 27, 2012 - 6:23PM

    @PakJam:

    You can not force any person to join any party. If PTI has vote bank it can pick any candidate from any region. However, if PTI does not have even candidates from a particular region then how come it would have votes there. Simple as that.

    In Rawalpindi, votes are not generally associated with local or external candidate factor. Example are Javed Hashmi defeating Shaikh Rasheed. And also voters are not personality conscious, example is Hanif Abbasi (JI at that time) defeating nephew of Shaikh Rasheed from the seat vacated be Shaikh Rasheed.

    Furthermore, in Rawalpindi, people do not buy “Street, Sewerage Lines” politics as well. If you do not believe ask PML-Q who did un precedented development work but could not buy votes from this.

    So, PTI has to be clear that Rawalpindi is not like any other city in the Pakistan. Here nobody can do ethnic, linguistic, or incentive based politics.

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  • PakJam
    May 27, 2012 - 6:46PM

    @Ahmed: You proved my point. I mentioned the word Pakistani in brackets… At PTI we believe in Pakistani identity. I am personally of the view that in Pakistan, one should have the guts to stand for elections in any constituency of Pakistan.

    In Rawalpindi InshaAllah we will win! PTI Zindabad

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  • Ali
    May 27, 2012 - 6:59PM

    @Chilli Imran Khan is no Benazir. He is supported by the establishment, and is an apologist of terrorists. Don’t worry for him, he’ll be safe for some time.

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  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks
    May 27, 2012 - 7:18PM

    @ Arif, how true what you are saying.Imran Khan’s track record should open people’s eyes, I don’t know any other leader who had built a hospital for the people and college for future generations.The rest of them has accumulated wealth by thievery and stashed in foreign banks. Yes Pakistan needs fresh leadership.

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  • toor
    May 27, 2012 - 7:18PM

    pti zindabad love u ik

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  • Abdul Jabbar
    May 27, 2012 - 7:40PM

    LIVE UPDATES????
    please if u can!!

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    May 27, 2012 - 7:46PM

    IPL final is underway now. Comments on ET and participants in rally have slowed down considerably. If rally organizers had some brain, they would have telecast IPL live in rally. After Tsunami’s success, its cricket matches where we would be spending most of our times.

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  • Reza Khan
    May 27, 2012 - 7:52PM

    PTI needs to focus on their media presence. There is a complete media blackout of the rally.

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  • Oopsie!
    May 27, 2012 - 8:46PM

    History has been made!!!

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  • Gilgiti-No voting right but Proud Pakistani
    May 27, 2012 - 8:51PM

    @ Qayyum
    if your words are true then this is the biggest charity for Pakistani people to save from PMLN and PPP from PTI, IK will do the politics with these people on ground not angels from sky… its up to the leader how to manage.

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  • Pakistani
    May 27, 2012 - 8:59PM

    Watching the live stream.. over 100,000 present at the rally.. and about 15000 people watching it online.

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  • Oopsie!
    May 27, 2012 - 9:13PM
  • Ahmad Nazar
    May 27, 2012 - 9:23PM

    Love you PTI and ISF- I am watching from Canada on live stream and it is great.

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  • May 27, 2012 - 9:34PM

    The only newspaper that is complete giving coverage to the PTI Jalsa…. well done Express Tribune!!!

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  • True Muslim Paki
    May 27, 2012 - 9:51PM

    Watching it on live stream, I can easily say there were easily more than 150000 people’s there. PTI zzindabad.

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  • Haris
    May 27, 2012 - 10:23PM

    When is it going to start? Is the PTI going to keep people waiting till late I have work tomorrow at 9.

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  • ayesha azeem
    May 27, 2012 - 10:48PM

    I was there,around 70-80K people were there,Imran khan rocksRecommend

  • Mohammad Awais
    May 27, 2012 - 10:51PM

    A question: almost all local transport vans of Rawalpindi and Islamabad were hired by PTI. From where that much money came? Huge spending was made on floodlights in the Liaquat Bagh. Who paid for it? Who is funding PTI? Give that much funds to Perverz Musharraf, he will also bring about tsunami. And keep in mind what tsumani means – great destruction.

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  • Sindhi
    May 27, 2012 - 10:51PM

    PMLN zindabad.Inshallah PMLN again

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  • Mohammad Awais
    May 27, 2012 - 10:57PM

    I myself saw the jalsa of PTI in Liaquat Bagh. Not more than 15,000 people there. had there been 50,000 people, all roads would have been blocked. Plz talk sense….. somebody says there are 150,000 people. Moreover, people from Jhelum, Murree, Chakwal, and all surrounding districts and tehsils were brought. That was not jalsa specific to Pindi only.

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  • Jamal Uddin
    May 28, 2012 - 3:05AM

    @qayyum : i smell a whiff of fakeness in your statement :)

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  • Zafar Iqbal
    May 28, 2012 - 6:02AM

    @Mohammad Awais

    I did not see even 10000 there, but again I am blind as a bat. I think you can sleep tight now my dear friend.

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  • zaigham
    May 28, 2012 - 10:41AM

    what is new in IK speech, all old blames, which he will never prove in the Court.

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  • SM
    May 28, 2012 - 1:29PM

    someone please tell IK that a ‘tsunami’ is not a good thing :)

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  • Adeel Syed
    May 28, 2012 - 10:00PM

    @Mohammad Awais:
    Oh no you are wrong my friend. There were only 50 people there. The rest were photoshopped in.

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