RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has asked its active members to use mobile phones and the social media to motivate people to participate in the ongoing sit-in at Islamabad.

A few days ago, PTI chairman Imran Khan had given two days to the party’s local leadership to bring at least 200 people from each union council of the Rawalpindi district to the sit-in. However, the local MPAs failed to achieve the target.

On Saturday evening, the party chairman called a meeting in his container to discuss the performance of the district chapter and the local MPAs. “During the last two days, most of the district office-bearers and MPAs remained absent from the sit-in and it annoyed the party leadership,” said a senior party leader while talking to Dawn.

He said the party senior members had been provided with the lists of voters and active members of the PTI to invite them to the sit-in.

“Some people were also invited giving the names of famous singers, including Abrarul Haq, who would perform at the sit-in.”

He said some party leaders were of the view that there was no need for holding rallies towards the venue of the sit-in as it was time consuming and might be stopped by the local administration. He said individuals had been asked to attend the sit-in voluntarily.

When contacted, PTI Punjab north president Sadaqat Abbasi admitted that the district chapter of the party and local MPAs had failed to achieve the target set by the party leadership. “There is a common perception in the party that some party workers are more active than the office-bearers and local MPAs.”

He said during the torrential rains, the gathering in the sit-in remained thin but on Friday the number of the participants increased. He said some people wanted to attend the sit-in but there was no arrangement to bring them to the venue.

The PTI district president and MPA, Arif Abbasi, told Dawn that the party local chapter had managed to bring more people to the sit-in but could not achieve the target.

“There are two main reasons for the failure. First, during the torrential rains for two days, most of the people remained indoors. Second, people felt tired after the three weeks’ long sit-in and have resumed their day-to-day work.”

He said the party leaders tried to convince the people but avoided to hold rallies because it was time consuming and would also be wastage of time.

“Mostly, the party workers and supporters are of the view that they would come to the sit-in venue after finishing their daily work in the evening and the party should not force them to attend any rally,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2014

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