Long march begins on Thursday: All eyes on the capital

Published: August 14, 2014
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There is no shipping container or any obstacle created in the way of the PTI’s march while all the routes of the PAT’s Inqilab march have been blocked by shipping containers. PHOTO: AFP

There is no shipping container or any obstacle created in the way of the PTI’s march while all the routes of the PAT’s Inqilab march have been blocked by shipping containers. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: 

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) are all set to begin their long marches towards the federal capital today (Thursday). PTI’s Azadi march would start from Zaman Park, Imran Khan’s residence, near The Mall from where they would reach Faisal Chowk to assemble. In the meantime, PAT’s Inqilab march would proceed from Model Town.

The government, however, seems to be picking its battles: it is apparently giving way to the PTI but restricting the movement of PAT activists. There is no shipping container or any obstacle created in the way of the former’s march while all the routes of the latter’s Inqilab march have been blocked by shipping containers and a heavy deployment of police. Moreover, the city district government has enforced section 144 CrPC in the areas around Qadri’s residence.

From Zaman Park to D-Chowk

Imran Khan will leave his residence at 10am in a rally after offering ‘prayers for the success’ of the rally and would address a gathering of around 100,000 participants at Faisal Chowk, PTI Punjab president Ejaz Chaudhary told The Express Tribune. He would use a bulletproof SUV to travel from Lahore to Islamabad. Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Javed Hashmi and Ejaz Chaudhary would accompany Imran in the vehicle.

Party workers, office bearers and participants would start gathering outside the PTI chief’s residence in the early hours of the day. All participants would arrange food individually for themselves, such as grams, sweeteners and dates in addition to biryani, fruits, water and juices. They have also packed clothes for their next three days, informed a group of party workers from Kasur. “We are taking mats to sleep on at D-Chowk,” said party worker Jawad Warraich.

As many as 25 trucks loaded with sound systems will also be part of the Azadi march caravan and songs, slogans and speeches will be played. The party had directed all participants to arrange for additional fuel and food, said Ejaz Chaudhary.

On their way to Islamabad, marchers would be received at 25 points at GT Road, he added. A 100,000-motorcycle squad would travel as the frontline squad from Lahore to Islamabad. Party workers would establish camps at every five kilometres.

After entering Islamabad, marchers from all areas of the country will first gather at Zero Point from where they would leave for D-Chowk and join the rally led by Imran Khan. At D-Chowk, the PTI chief would present a charter of demands to the government and the future party agenda for ‘Naya Pakistan’, said Chaudhary.

PAT, 25 other parties march as one

PAT’s political coordinator Iftikhar Shah Bukhari told The Express Tribune that 25 political parties will join their Inqilab march at Model Town. Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Sunni Ittehad Council, Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen, All Pakistan Muslim League, Sunni Tehreek and Tehreek Suba Hazara among parties will gather at the capital with Dr Tahirul Qadri’s PAT.

He said members of the minority community, including Hindus and Christians, have already joined them. “We will try to join PTI’s Azadi march at Nasir Bagh and proceed towards Islamabad through GT Road together,” he added.

PAT workers who reached Model Town from different parts of the country started packing food, including water, milk, biscuits and snacks, for the rally. The enthusiasm and passion of the hundreds of workers and supporters was at its peak, one party worker claimed.

However, DIG Operation Lahore Dr Haider Ashraf told The Express Tribune that as the government have imposed Section 144 in Model Town and Cantonment areas, the police have been instructed to contain PAT activists within Model Town and Faisal Town at all costs. Talking about the police’s strategy, Ashraf said, “The police will try to contain PAT activists within the area through the containers that have been placed in the area.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (42)

  • Malveros
    Aug 14, 2014 - 5:15AM

    Enjoy the eye candy, singing and dancing. That is the Naya Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Charlie Chaplen
    Aug 14, 2014 - 5:16AM

    Can anyone tell me, from where the Gov got this many containers ? i am seeing pictures of huge number of containers surrounding different cities.

    Recommend

  • Professor
    Aug 14, 2014 - 6:09AM

    Pakistan does not deserve democracy. The leaders don’t know the first thing about what it is. If you start uprooting the system for every problem you face, democracy is not for you. Every single democracy has experienced election-rigging but this is not the way to go about solving it. Bush-Gore election in 2000 was a classic example. Gore charged Bush with massive fraud but he did not try to derail the system.
    I do not think Imran Khan will ever be a democrat at heart. He does not have the temperament for it.

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  • Sher khan
    Aug 14, 2014 - 6:50AM

    This day will be long remembered in the history of pakistan… Off with corrupt rulers heads :)

    Recommend

  • Sami
    Aug 14, 2014 - 6:59AM

    I am depressed. Since years I have celebrated 14 August with love and passion. This time there is fair and uncertainty. I support IK but if PTI chose some other date instead of 14th of August what was bad in that. This day is exclusively for a common Pakistani and all Political parties should respect it. We forget our all differences for some times on Eid days, we should forget our all Political difference on 14th of August. I feel sorry. Happy independence day.

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  • Ahmad
    Aug 14, 2014 - 7:05AM

    Pakistan independence day… ruined by these marches,,, Alas!
    If you have no respect of law, you don’t deserve to live in this world.

    Recommend

  • Sami
    Aug 14, 2014 - 7:15AM

    @Professor You may be right in some way but in Pakistan on going democratic system is new form of Kingship where a family controls one political party. If one person is selected by elite family as their head whatever his/her caliber is, he/she leads party and in turn country. This system makes whole nation as servants of that family. Sharif family has been ruling Punjab since decades where a relations has developed between institutions and Sharif family which is main cause of rigging. Don’t undermine and underestimate Mr. Khan’s efforts to fight against these family owned political parties.

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  • Neo
    Aug 14, 2014 - 7:16AM

    and Circus begins !!!!

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  • Hira
    Aug 14, 2014 - 7:16AM

    All 3 parties are making effort to bring in martial law in the country………..probably by the end of the day we all be celebrating dictator raaj in the country

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  • Umer Farooq
    Aug 14, 2014 - 7:16AM

    May Allah help Imran and Pakistan, we all love our country and hopefully we dont have to fight for the right thing in the near future but until our own leaders are corrupt to the point that they will do anything to get in power and then stay in it Pakistanis have no option but to stand up for themselves.
    Jashne Azadi Mubarak!

    Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Aug 14, 2014 - 7:45AM

    @Professor:
    Well said..

    Recommend

  • itl
    Aug 14, 2014 - 8:12AM

    @Professor: Did Al-Gore have any evidence of rigging? unlike in Pakistan where everyone saw the rigging live on TV.

    Recommend

  • renegade
    Aug 14, 2014 - 8:15AM

    @Professor: And your point is? Bush turned out be one of the worst leaders of recent times starting useless wars and burying the US in heaps of debt, just like NS is doing with Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Sher Singh Gill
    Aug 14, 2014 - 8:32AM

    And the legacy of the Mughals continues! Thank god for partition!Recommend

  • AK
    Aug 14, 2014 - 8:40AM

    Let the marches begin now !!!!

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  • Muneer
    Aug 14, 2014 - 9:11AM

    @Professor:Which system?.Even if there was some semblance of some system,it has been uprooted by the current Punjab/Federal government.Under what system inter provincial,inter and intra city movement and normal lfe have been distrupted and almost stopped by the government in power for the last 5-6 days.It is not rhetoric or lies.It is the factual on ground situation in the Punjab and its capital Lahore. 

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  • Sami
    Aug 14, 2014 - 9:12AM

    If govt allows PTI for long march but restricts PAT, then in case of any bad incident in model town PTI will suppress hard to government for resignation in Islamabad. There will be strong probability that PMLn will lose its government. If both parties go for long march then government will survive any case, either peaceful protest or violent protest.

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  • Sher Singh Gill
    Aug 14, 2014 - 9:16AM

    I want to thank Mr. Jinnah for doing something our weak leaders would have never done! Partition was the best thing that happened to modern day India.

    Recommend

  • Aysha M
    Aug 14, 2014 - 9:22AM

    Actually all eyes on Altaf Hussain &MQM, yesterday’s political pariah today’s protaganist.

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  • Sarmad
    Aug 14, 2014 - 9:23AM

    @Malveros. You are up early today. And that seems like an imperative to me. Are you now giving orders to visitors of these pages?

    Recommend

  • Sarmad
    Aug 14, 2014 - 9:24AM

    Imran Khan Niazi, please go rid Punjab and Pakistan from these Kashmiris – not all Kashmiris, just this clan. Pakistan needs to gain independence from Kashmir.
    ~Red is the color of my vote~

    Recommend

  • Khalid
    Aug 14, 2014 - 9:42AM

    Democracy is farce in Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Aik_Paki
    Aug 14, 2014 - 10:00AM

    @Professor:
    We are so divided. No tolerance for each other. We have raised our children by telling them lies, corruption is OK for us, and we try to buy every thing even democracy. I can see the same in messages and comments here. I think Pakistan in its current state is not suitable for an upright and straight forward person. You got all the corrupt politicians and other leaders. Leaders are from ourselves – think about it Allah gave us what we deserve.

    Recommend

  • Dani
    Aug 14, 2014 - 10:10AM

    Stay Safe !

    May Allah protect the people (Aameen), Pakistani can’t bear anymore human loss !

    Recommend

  • Karachi-PTI
    Aug 14, 2014 - 10:17AM

    Some members of MQM have decided to give us support by closing all transport and businesses in the city for 3 days.
    Azadi.

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  • Skhan
    Aug 14, 2014 - 10:28AM

    deep state is busy at its mischief mongering. It seems it has no mercy. For God’s sake, let democracy flourish. If the government has offered to set up a judicial body to investigate the rigging allegations then what is the point of the long march.

    Recommend

  • kulwant singh
    Aug 14, 2014 - 10:31AM

    The election were held under a care taker Govt and if the PM resigns and fresh elections are held what is the guarantee that the elections will be fair because the same Election commission and same Govt officials will conduct the elections first the Election commission should be power full like India the 2014 elections were conducted in one and half month to ensure that every booth gets adequate security and the Observers in Panjab were from Southern states

    Recommend

  • sabi
    Aug 14, 2014 - 10:45AM

    Good strategy would be let them vacate Lahore and stop them entering pindi Islamabad.Let them celebrate their march somewhere in wilderness.Dont let them make any kiosk in bigger cities.They may sit in on some open place as long as they wish.Stop them entering Lahore again.

    Recommend

  • nadeem
    Aug 14, 2014 - 10:53AM

    @Charlie Chaplen:
    They confiscated them from businessmen. See here:

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1125179/movement-of-goods-comes-to-a-halt

    Recommend

  • Ruleoflaw
    Aug 14, 2014 - 10:54AM

    Please stop March,, having unconstitutional motives.. This is snatcher approach to show power N snatch what you want.. So never promote this culture.. Otherwise poor people of pakistan will come together and will snatch everything from elite…

    Recommend

  • Darasingh
    Aug 14, 2014 - 10:58AM

    Imran khan has proved he is khan…. There is no place of this person in democracy… who is stuborn N always go for confrontation rather then negotiations… Ilegal demand illegal March..

    Recommend

  • Mamu
    Aug 14, 2014 - 11:03AM

    @Professor:
    You never looked on the positive side did you. You give examples of the west. Then here this also that they resign after mishaps happen. But the Punjab CM is so much full of shame that 85 UNARMED people are shot with bullets at Model Town and no one is willing to even register an FIR.Recommend

  • Syed
    Aug 14, 2014 - 11:07AM

    @Professor..
    What you say is true but Al Gore or Bush didnt manipulate ballot papers, returning officers, didnt had impartial caretaker setup working for either of them, and didnt appointed their relatives on a massive scale. Please dont compare pakistan democracy with their`s.
    Democracy means freedom of people pure and simple and that can be any form of system be it the confused parallel system we have now or presidential system or some other kind so long as freedom and accountability go hand in hand. This March is to introduce reforms to suitor our democracy to what our country and people needs. Democracy is not a grocery product that is bar coded and standardized. It should suit to what people need, not what the international ruling standard is.

    Recommend

  • sabi
    Aug 14, 2014 - 11:17AM

    People of Pakistan have rejected his fascist agenda ever since he is in politics.
    Now this man wants to grab power with power is it a sane way?.He wants to push Pakistan into anarchy like Syria Yemen Somalia.This must be the dream of the enemies of Pakistan.He must not be allowed to push Pakistan in Stone Age.
    People of Pakistan are the custodian of their country no individual has any right to snatch this right of people.This desperate man must be brought to justice.Pakistan is a nuclear state it has to show now that-it’s not as weak as it looks through media.No room for fascists in 21 first century.

    Recommend

  • hassan
    Aug 14, 2014 - 11:19AM

    Padri should be deported to Canada. He is here to cause instability in our country. These leaders are selfish, they hide themselves in container, while the innocent people have to die for them.

    Recommend

  • Mamu
    Aug 14, 2014 - 11:27AM

    Time is UP! What is the Celebration about when we are not Azad. When we don’t have our rights as citizens. Police treat us badly, our Court cases takes 10-20 years to be solved (by the time we are dead), Our votes are changed, we cannot elect our leader, we don’t have proper services at government hospitals, every one tries to admit his kid to non-governmental school for better education, what else is the Azadi about then???Recommend

  • JB
    Aug 14, 2014 - 11:40AM

    @Ahmad ‘no respect for law’! Seriously? You would prefer people who cheat and steal from you to stay in government but criticize people fighting for you? How ignorant can you get?
    I can not believe after all kinds of video evidence of rigging, people taking bribes and what not, people still tend to support the current government…because of ‘democracy’??? I am sorry but what kind of democracy requires putting containers on the roads and suppressing freedom of speech???

    Recommend

  • Altaf
    Aug 14, 2014 - 12:09PM

    @Aysha M:
    Oh Bajji PLEASE !!

    Recommend

  • Aug 14, 2014 - 12:48PM

    I didn’t know Singhs too have such a fine sense of humor. In one sentence you said so much. @Sher Singh Gill:Recommend

  • John
    Aug 14, 2014 - 3:23PM

    @Sher Singh Gill:
    well said and likewise,its the best thing to happen to us too,with all the issues and problems we have,there is nothing better we could have asked for

    Recommend

  • atif
    Aug 14, 2014 - 4:09PM

    @Skhan:
    Dear Friend, first of all, it is too late. Why this action was not taken before. Secondly, we know the power of our courts. Most of the Judges are corrupt, and even, if the judge gives decision against ruler, that is not implemented.

    What NS did against Zardari, the most famous thief in the history of mankind, and what were the promises about him? Imran says correctly that PMLN & PPP are chips of the same bag.

    Recommend

  • Genius
    Aug 15, 2014 - 5:56PM

    @professor
    Would you think that this nation is now addicted to the corruption? and no one want to change his mind? We have to effort for positive change for our whole system……….Recommend

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