Several PTI leaders including Ahsan Rasheed, Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri and Farooq Amjad Mir found it difficult to make it onto the main stage at Saturday’s rally because it was very crowded.
Despite being some 30 feet above the crowd, many people were able to climb onto it. An Insaf Students Federation official said that the stage had been mismanaged. “For the previous rally, the security duty was with ISF members, who know everybody in the party. This time such people were appointed who didn’t know many party leaders, which caused many problems,” he said.
Some PTI members said that there were fewer families at Saturday’s rally than the party’s previous ‘tsunami’ at Minar-i-Pakistan in October 2011.
Several rally participants took shelter under the Minar-i-Pakistan when the heavy rain started and stayed there till the rain ended. Many workers criticised PTI leaders Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Javed Hashmi for not giving shorter speeches when rain had been forecast. “They should have cut their speeches short and given Imran Khan a chance to speak. Most of the workers and people had come to listen to him.
And then there were 80,000 newly elected office bearers who were there to take oath but couldn’t as the rain started and the rally had to be finished abruptly,” said Haq Nawaz, one of the participants sitting under a shade waiting for the rain to pass.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2013.