Govt to finalise ‘Azadi’ celebrations tomorrow

Published: July 23, 2014
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Pervaiz Rasheed.  PHOTO: PID/STOCK IMAGES

Pervaiz Rasheed. PHOTO: PID/STOCK IMAGES

ISLAMABAD: The government will announce on Thursday (tomorrow) its amended plan for the Independence Day or Azadi rally, which is to be held on August 14, and which happens to coincide with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s (PTI) protest march.

A cabinet panel, constituted by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, will finalise the plan and make it public through a press conference.

Information Minister Pervez Rasheed told The Express Tribune that the committee would meet on Thursday, after which Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq would hold a press conference to reveal the government’s final plan.

He said the official ceremony in Islamabad would be held in the morning, while PTI’s march is scheduled to reach the capital in the evening or late at night.

The committee, led by Rafique, comprises Rasheed, Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural resources Jam Kamal Khan and Special Assistant of Prime Minister Irfan Siddiqui.

The government has said that the countrywide ceremonies, which will take place from August 1 to August 30, would be dedicated to martyrs of Tehreek-e-Pakistan and of the war against terrorism.

It had earlier announced that it would resume outdoor ceremonies with a military parade at D-Chowk, which remains dug-up currently due to on-going work for the metro-bus project.

Located few hundred metres in front of Parliament House, the venue was previously used for ceremonies such as independence-day rallies and the March 23rd military parades till a decade ago when they were stopped due to security threats.

The PML-N government, however, recently vowed to revive these functions and hold an extensive function around D-Chowk.

While the government has cut back on some of its grand ideas in the initial plan, it has said that the Independence Day rally is perhaps the most important of all rallies and has invited leaders of all political parties, including those who have announced to protest against the government after Eid.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • salman
    Jul 23, 2014 - 6:59PM

    Rumours are that the Army is not keep on a big parade and hoohaa on the 14th, as their focus is on the onging operation. Thus the scaling back of some of the plans. In times of such load shedding, wouldn’t the money spent on this parade be better spent elsewhere? People are sick of these dramas and want their issues addressed, not another excuse for King Sharif to hold court and enjoy nihari in his Air conditioned palaces while the aam aadmi suffers in the Aug sun.

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  • H Chaudhry
    Jul 23, 2014 - 9:59PM

    How about the huge sum of money that will be spend on security of 20-30K mad followers led by a sick person to Islamabad? What about the cost of lack of security in other places because a large contingent of Police will be protecting and getting abused by these so called inquillabies.

    What people do you speak of Salman? Are you this naïve to think PMLN can not get thousands of people in streets. There has been a total failure to do anything for people of Pakistan in last 15 years. This government is taking right long term solutions.

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  • salman
    Jul 23, 2014 - 11:25PM

    @H Chaudhry:
    No pti rally has ever attacked the police (unlike pmln mpas). You must be getting confused between pti and pat. And don’t delude yourself, for every supporter of pmln that still remains, there are 10 who have turned against them. A few days ago the lights went out at sehri in lahore. I called wapda to complain, the poor fellow on the other side started apologising to me for voting pmln! Lol

    the only thing I see this govt doing is taking great pains to hide thier rigging. Answer me one question if you can. If there was no rigging and pmln won cleanly, then verify the votes in those 4 constituencies. After all the results will prove pmln right and shut IK up. Why wont pmln do this one easy thing? The fact they dont only shows they have something to hide.

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