RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has asked for its MNAs and MPAs in Punjab to bring people to the public meeting at Minar-i-Pakistan on Sunday. But the party’s Rawalpindi and Attock chapters have been asked to send 2,000 people each to the sit-in in Islamabad rather than Lahore.
When contacted, the PTI Rawalpindi District President and MPA Arif Abbasi said the party had set targets for public meeting in Lahore and confirmed that supporters from Rawalpindi and Attock would be going to the sit-in in Islamabad.
PTI Punjab chapter held a meeting with all district chapters and local MPAs in Islamabad, chaired by Chaudhry Ejaz and conveyed the message of the party chairman that it was the duty of office-bearers to make the public meeting in Lahore successful.
A senior party leader told Dawn that all the candidates of PTI in the 2013 elections have been asked to bring maximum number of people while the target for MNAs and MPAs has been fixed at minimum 500 people.
When asked about the party’s decision about those affected by floods, he said the party leaders had not discussed the issue in the meeting.
He said most of the time was spent trying to work out differences among the party leaders about the number of people to be brought to the sit-ins and the leaders have been asked to unite for the shared cause.
“Local leaders and former candidates across the province have been asked to remain in touch with people in their constituencies and be prepared for fresh elections which Imran Khan wants to be held before the Senate election, so that the existing assembly cannot elect senators. Otherwise PML-N will gain a majority in the upper house as well,” he said.
He explained that leaders from Chakwal and Jhelum districts will bring people to Lahore, while leaders from Rawalpindi and Attock will be bringing people to the sit-in in Islamabad, as Imran Khan will return to the capital at night.
“Many workers and local leaders wanted to know about what will happen to the sit-in in Islamabad during Eidul Azha and they have been told to be patient and wait till after the Lahore public meeting for a decision,” he said.
He said the general perception in the meeting was that the PML-N government will end before Eidul Azha if they made the Lahore meeting successful. He said in the coming days, PTI will adopt the same strategy for public meetings in Multan and Faisalabad.
The PTI leader said local leaders in Rawalpindi have been asked to come out of their houses and go door-to-door to convince people to come to the sit-ins for a few hours in the evening.
Published in Dawn, September 25th , 2014