The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has managed to win over senior vice president Makhdoom Javed Hashmi who put to rest media speculation by announcing that he will lead the party’s Azadi march scheduled for Thursday (August 14).
Appearing before the media with senior PTI leaders Dr Arif Alvi and Mian Mehoodur Rashid at his residence in Multan, Hashmi conceded that he had reservations over PTI chairman Imran Khan’s demand for a setup of technocrats in lieu of the PML-N government.
“However, the chairman [Imran Khan] has clarified his statement and addressed my reservations,” he added. “We spoke over the phone for half an hour and the chairman removed all my doubts about the demand for a government of technocrats.”
Hashmi said he believes in constitutionalism and rule of law. He said the PTI would never support dictatorship. “A martial law will be over my body,” he said. “I’m a guarantee against martial law. Chairman Imran Khan is a guarantee against martial law. Every activist of our party is a guarantee against martial law,” he added.
Hashmi said he was travelling to Lahore to lead the PTI’s Azadi march which he reiterated would be peaceful. “The Azadi march will be a defining movement in setting up a Naya Pakistan,” he said. Hashmi went to his hometown of Multan from Islamabad Tuesday night, triggering speculation in the media that politicians from rival parties also met with him earlier in the day.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2014.