PTI hopes to bring Lahore to standstill with its rallies

Rasheed says the new appointees for Lahore would be part of deliberation regarding the party’s strategy in the city


Aroosa Shaukat August 18, 2016
“After the September 3 march, there will be a break in the demonstration. The next phase of protests will be after Eid,” Rasheed said. PHOTO: NNI/FILE

LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf is set to start its Accountability Movement in the Punjab next week. The party is weighing various options to make a strong impact including staging continuous protests once it begins Lahore.

The party has decided to exert pressure on the government through a series of protest demonstrations across the province. It has decided to opt out of an extended sit-in to press for its demand for an independent investigation into the Panama Papers controversy. Party chief Imran Khan had announced rallies in Gujrat and Jhelum after a meeting with the party’s central leadership. He had also announced a march from Gujranwala to Lahore on September 3.

PTI to rejoin ToR talks but won’t call off protest

The logistics of the Pakistan March, expected to kick-off in the first week of September, are still being finalised. The party chief is expected to announce a strategy in this regard once the rally enters Lahore.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Leader of Opposition in the Provincial Assembly Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed said, “Our aim is to bring Lahore to a standstill.” He said the PTI workers from Lahore would join the rally approaching the city from Gujranwala at Shahdara.

He said the party would focus on key points, such as the Provincial Assembly, on that day. Rasheed said the PTI might continue demonstrations in the city for a few days once the protesters entered Lahore. “The protest may take form of one of PTI’s demonstrations in 2014 where Lahore was shut down by choking key intersections in the city,” he said. “The details will be decided once party office-bearers for Lahore are announced,” Rasheed said.

Rasheed says the new appointees for Lahore would be part of deliberation regarding the party’s strategy in the city. The party is expected to finalise and announce strategy for Lahore by August 25.

While the party’s central Punjab president Aleem Khan’s right-hand man Shoaib Siddiqi was also in the run for heading the district party, insiders say Waleed Iqbal has been selected for heading Lahore with Hammad Azhar as secretary general.

Iqbal had announced his candidature for Lahore president in March before the party decided to postpone its second intra-party elections. The party is yet to announce a notification regarding appointments in Lahore.

Panama leaks: PTI announces series of protests after Eid

“After the September 3 march, there will be a break in the demonstration. The next phase of protests will be after Eid,” Rasheed said.

Party insiders say there is a prevalent view that other parties be invited to join the march in Lahore.

Jamaat-i-Islami, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), the Awami Muslim League as well as the Majlis-e-Wahdat-ul-Muslimeen could be extended invitations to join, they said.

Rasheed said that a decision in this regard had not yet been made.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2016.

COMMENTS (1)

Abdul Aleem | 6 years ago | Reply All i can say is "fitay munh" PTI cannot think of anything but destruction and disruption. Ever since they have come into active politics, i have never heard any comparison of performance, rather they are always talking about shortcomings of others.. Grow up IK, this strategy will take you nowhere
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