Imran Khan unhappy with Azadi March attendance

Published September 4, 2014
The party chairman was unhappy with the attendance of the local chapter especially after the police action.— Reuters file photo
The party chairman was unhappy with the attendance of the local chapter especially after the police action.— Reuters file photo

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the party’s Rawalpindi chapter and its six MPAs for not bringing enough people to the sit-in.

Imran Khan summoned all leaders from Rawalpindi on Wednesday and met them inside the Azadi Truck on the Constitution Avenue. The meeting was attended by President PTI North Punjab Sadaqat Abbasi and MPAs Saddique Khan, Malik Taimoor Masood, Asif Mehmood, Rashid Hafeez, Ijaz Khan Jazi and Arif Abbasi.

He asked them to bring 200 people from each union council for the next two to three days, to show the party’s street strength in the ‘final stage’.

A senior PTI leader told Dawn that the party chairman was unhappy with the attendance of the local chapter at the sit-in site, especially after the police action.

“If all office-bearers attended the sit-in, then more than 1,000 people will remain on the protest venue. The responsibility lies on the shoulders of the local leaders to improve the attendance of the gathering in the next two or three days, which will be final,” he quoted the party chairman’s views.

He said the party leaders had informed the chairman that most of the people avoided to come in front due to the presence of Awami Muslim League (AML) leader Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on the container.

He said the party leaders had been asked to remain loyal to the party and be ready for the final announcement of the movement.

The official said the presence of a large crowd was necessary for the gathering, because the PAT workers were higher in number and PTI needs to increase the number of its own workers at the protest venue.

He said the party chairman also questioned the resignations of the MPAs, who told him that the Punjab Assembly speaker had made phone calls to the MPAs for verification of their resignations one day before.

“All MPAs were assured that the party would give them party tickets again and accommodate them in the cabinet if PTI manages to form a government in the next elections. The party chairman was hopeful that the next general elections were near,” he said.

PTI District President and MPA Arif Abbasi told Dawn that the party members held a meeting with the chairman and discussed party issues for the next few days.

He said the party asked them to bring maximum number of people at the sit-in for next two to three days, adding that Imran Khan wanted to improve the morale of the local leadership and heard their problems during the meeting.

He said the PTI Punjab chapter also held a meeting and discussed the current situation after the departure of Javed Hashmi.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2014

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