Containers block routes to Minar-e-Pakistan as Lahore braces for PTI rally

GT road blocked to contain PTI convoys coming from other cities and towns of Punjab

Our Correspondent March 25, 2023


The local administration of Lahore on Saturday placed containers to block the routes leading to Minar-e-Pakistan as the provincial capital braced for a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) rally scheduled to take place today.

Containers have also been placed in other areas of Lahore, including GT Road, Cup Store and Du Maurya Bridge.

The administration and police have taken the step to block PTI supporters from other towns and cities in Punjab from reaching the rally venue.

The PTI leadership has alleged that the police have detained the party's leaders and workers, saying that raids on the houses of PTI workers and leaders have been ongoing for five consecutive days.

However, they said that despite the "tactics of the police and administration", the rally will definitely take place today.

Crackdown continues

According to police sources, night raids were conducted to arrest PTI central leaders Aamir Kayani, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Raja Basharat, Mian Imran Hayat, Raja Usman and others in Rawalpindi but were not successful.

Sources added that PTI leaders have gone into hiding to avoid arrest. During the police crackdown that has been ongoing for around a week, 33 activists were detained and later released by the courts.

A day earlier, the PTI formed a venue committee in connection with the party’s rally at Minar-e-Pakistan today amid the police raids.

According to the notification, PTI leader Shabbir Siyal was appointed as the coordinator, Fawad Rasool Buhlar and Wing Commander Khawaja Kamran deputy coordinators while 10 party workers as members.

Read Court orders release of 15 PTI activists

In a statement, senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry slammed the “arrest and abduction” of “about 750 leaders and workers, including Azhar Mashwani and Shahid Hussain”.

The Punjab police continued conducting raids in different areas of the province to arrest the PTI leaders and workers ahead of the rally.

Police raided the residence of PTI leaders Hammad Khan Niazi and Bajash Khan Niazi in the Manawan area but could not arrest the two leaders as they were not present at home at the time of the raid.

Hammad vowed that the rally in Lahore today will be a historical one. “We will not be intimidated by such measures [raids by police]” and said that they would stand by PTI Chairman Imran Khan till their last breath.

Similarly, the police conducted a raid at the residence of PTI’s PP-145 candidate Malik Mubasher Lal in the Samnabad area but failed to arrest him as he was not present at home.

“We are not be afraid of police bullying. The government has become a victim of cowardice,” Lal said, accuding the police of breaking the walls of his house and stealing valuables in the name of arrest.

“Imran Khan is the future of this country. We will support him till the last drop of our blood,” Lal vowed.

Lal said that come what may, he would attend the meeting along with his family members. “The police have arrested my relatives as well as my children. Still we will participate in the rally.”



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