‘Naya Pakistan’ rally: Imran ignites poll drive

Published: March 24, 2013
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PTI supporters wave party flags during the ‘Naya Pakistan’ rally at Minar-e-Pakistan. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK / EXPRESS

PTI supporters wave party flags during the ‘Naya Pakistan’ rally at Minar-e-Pakistan. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK / EXPRESS

Imran Khan stands with party members during Saturday’s rally. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK/ EXPRESS PTI supporters wave party flags during the ‘Naya Pakistan’ rally at Minar-e-Pakistan. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK / EXPRESS
LAHORE: 

Tens of thousands of people converged on Minar-e-Pakistan on Saturday in an event billed to be the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s ‘final coming’ in his bid to become the next prime minister of the country.

Be that as it may, heavy rain accompanied by strong winds in Lahore dampened Imran’s ‘tsunami’ with the public address system failing before he could unveil his party’s manifesto at the election rally.

The weather may have cut short Imran’s speech, but it didn’t hold back an enthusiastic crowd, which waved party’s flags to make a sea of green and red, and the party chief himself, who made six promises to the nation.

Imran, who chose the venue of Saturday’s rally for being the site where Indian Muslims first made their official demand for a separate homeland, pledged in his speech to always “speak the truth with  the nation”.

He went on to assure that he would wage a ‘jihad’ against oppression and side with the oppressed, including women and minorities, if he came to power.

“I will establish the supremacy of law, I will not have property or bank accounts abroad,” he said, alluding to accusations of corruption against politicians.

“It is my promise to you that I will not misuse power or indulge in nepotism and I will protect taxpayers’ money,” Imran said, while making his four and fifth promises.

As his final pledge, the PTI chief assured that his party would stand with overseas Pakistanis and protect their rights.

Imran also went on to demand an undertaking from his supporters.

“The nation should become my strength to remove injustice from the society,” said Imran, adding that every person in the country had to volunteer in PTI’s revolution to ensure its success.

Meanwhile, PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who defected to PTI from the ruling party PPP, said the manifesto would be formally announced at a press conference “over the next few days”.

According to the agencies figures, the numbers on Saturday fell short of an estimated 150,000. Imran drew crowds of around 200,000 at an enormous rally in Lahore in October 2011, kickstarting what he has called a “tsunami”.

On the other hand, DIG Operations Tahir Rai said around 70,000 people attended Saturday’s rally, including office bearers elected in recent intra-party elections across the country. He went on to add that the gathering was dealt a premature ending due to the weather conditions.

PTI live-streamed the rally on the Internet, a medium that the party has tapped into heavily through social networking sites Facebook and Twitter. Young men and women, his core support base, dominated the crowd, wearing “Imran Khan” and “Revolution” T-shirts, and caps in the party colour.

“We want change,” said Abdul Rehman, who travelled Peshawar.

“We are fed up with the old faces. They are the symbol of the status quo. We want to bring new faces and Imran Khan should come to power now,” said another young man from Gujrat.

Authorities had beefed up security for the rally and diverted traffic. They also shut mobile phone networks at the venue and immediate surrounding area as a precaution to guard against bombs, some of which are detonated by telephones.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • xyz
    Mar 24, 2013 - 10:00AM

    well done PTI and IK.it was a huge rally

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  • Ricky
    Mar 24, 2013 - 10:04AM

    Pakistan has become Naya Pakistan in 1971. Is there going to be yet another new Pakistan I hate to think that.

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  • umer
    Mar 24, 2013 - 10:10AM

    People who say 70K supporters attended the jalsa are kidding themself.. atleast 250K crowd was there!!!

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Mar 24, 2013 - 10:18AM

    It was a flop show. Only few people from Lahore attended it. Most of the participants were outsiders who came to ride Metro Bus. I can bet that PTI will not win a single seat from Lahore.

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  • Queen
    Mar 24, 2013 - 10:19AM

    Love the jazba of Insafians :)

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  • FHAAD
    Mar 24, 2013 - 10:40AM

    love the way he siad.mubarak ho tabdeeli aa gai//

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  • Engr. Waheed
    Mar 24, 2013 - 10:41AM

    Good luck Imran Khan.

    I hope that your now organised party will carry out grass root level campaigning to try and convince people like me who are still on the fence about not voting or voting for you.

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  • Sohrab Karboy
    Mar 24, 2013 - 10:44AM

    Here is the chance for Pakistanis to light a candle than to curse the darkness. They have tried and tested all the other parties and things are worse than they ever were. They should try PTI and Imran Khan in the coming elections. Voting for him would bring in the new blood, a new enthusiasm, and a new commitment to better the lives of the common citizens. A vote for the other parties will be a vote for the status-quo. Much of the country is still in the clutches of the feudals. Voters in mostly rural areas may not have the freedom to openly vote against their chaudhries, waderas, maliks, and sardars. But, in the privacy of the voting booth they can vote for change. I am well aware that most of the people I am referring to cannot write their own names and have to depend on the polling officer to show them where to affix their thumb impression to vote for someone. But they must find a way to vote for change. All I know is that our people deserve better than what they have had in the past.

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  • IK-Fan
    Mar 24, 2013 - 10:58AM

    “We want change,” said Abdul Rehman, who travelled Peshawar.

    you forgot ” from ”

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  • Syed A. Mateen
    Mar 24, 2013 - 10:59AM

    It was a good show.

    It would have prolonged, had the rain not disturbed the rally. However, IK is going to reveal PTI’s Manifesto in a day or two during his press conference.

    The political heat is increasing with the passage of time and the voters seems to be charged for raising the slogans.

    I am curious to know about the feelings of those youth who will cast their votes for the first time and that too to PTI and Imran Khan.

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  • Usman
    Mar 24, 2013 - 11:09AM

    And there’s a leader, right there. I would follow him to any end, not because I’m an idiot, but because I know he has been there himself and knows I have it in me to do it too.

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  • DevilHunterX
    Mar 24, 2013 - 12:03PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    You sound scared.

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  • SK5
    Mar 24, 2013 - 12:07PM

    Imran just became a cult of personality!!

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  • bilal
    Mar 24, 2013 - 12:08PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    are you getting any seat from PML(N). IK has become a threat for you people. Inshallah Allah will protect him and he will outlaw people liek you from pakistan. Speak for a change

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  • bilal
    Mar 24, 2013 - 12:11PM

    Pakistan was united. simple loved your motivational speech. inshallah we all will soon see naya pakistan,

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  • Cacha
    Mar 24, 2013 - 12:15PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad… Its nice to leave in Fools paradise.. It will be decided on 11th May, who wins how many…

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  • Baset
    Mar 24, 2013 - 12:18PM

    @Ch Allah Dad you never seize to amaze me with your foolish comments. It was a massive jalsa and you know that too. Time to accept the face that people of Pakistan have finally realized that Imran Khan is the only true leader in this country !!

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  • Muhammad asif malik
    Mar 24, 2013 - 12:47PM

    Some pakistani dont want to face the reality. And the reality is, Pakistan needs a true leader in shape of Sir Imran Khan who can overcome on current Economic, Terrorism, instability, load shedding, inflation, foriegn policy etc issues. Its not matter of our political party but a matter of our country. Face the reality and save the pakistan rather than your political party. Think

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  • The Shining
    Mar 24, 2013 - 1:07PM

    Please don’t feed the trolls (such as Ch. Allah Daad)! Keep calm and vote for Imran!

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  • Falcon
    Mar 24, 2013 - 1:29PM

    @Engr. Waheed:
    Engineer Sahab…why are you sitting on the fence and why do you need to be convinced? This reflects a subtle sense of entitlement. Don’t you think that being a Pakistani citizen, it is our responsibility to make the right decision for not only ourselves but the rest of the nation? If I were you, I would do the research myself on what are the problems of the nation and who has the sincerity & plan to address them rather than waiting for people to approach you and ask for the ‘privilege’ of giving them your vote.

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  • dr j tipu
    Mar 24, 2013 - 2:08PM

    Superb enthusiasm n whar a strong new institution the form of PTI, congrats Ik

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  • Zakir Khan
    Mar 24, 2013 - 4:00PM

    Never thought that a non political person like me and my family will become so politically charged that one day we will contemplate going to a polling station to vote for a party but I thing this guy named Imran Khan can do wonders. apolitical people like me and millions like me, who will vote for the first time in our lives, will vote for PTI & IK. his honesty and sincerity is beyond doubt.he is not your typical two tongued politician.you can be certain that he will do what he promised. someone who said here that he is on the fence should know that it’s not a time to be on the fence.you have a clear option in IK and if you decided to stay on the fence today you may stay there for ever and may never get a chance to change the fortunes of this country for yourself and your future generations.

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  • Engr. Waheed
    Mar 24, 2013 - 5:30PM

    @Falcon
    I am happy that you have made up your mind, I have not.

    The problems and potential solutions are plainly evident. There is no subtlety here, I am entitled to my vote, and entitled to my opinion that anyone seeking my vote should make the effort to explain their position to me through their representatives in my constituency.

    If IK would like my vote, Apart from his good intentions, i still need to be convinced about his teams ability to govern this country. A grass roots level campaign would go a long way towards convincing me towards this.

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  • Mar 24, 2013 - 6:24PM

    good luck khan. its very simple but true that if people deserve, you will win.

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  • Neha
    Mar 25, 2013 - 2:48AM

    To all the Pakistanis please vote PTI.
    Imran Khan is the only man who can change
    Pakistan for the best. I hope and pray to Allah
    That everyone votes PTI. Inshallah ameen.

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