RAWALPINDI: Like elsewhere in the country, Pakistan Tehkreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is set on blocking all major arteries and entry and exit points in Islamabad and Rawalpindi on Thursday in its protest campaign against the delay in establishing a judicial commission to probe alleged rigging in the 2013 general elections.
Behind the shutdown plan, however, lurk the divisions in the party’s Rawalpindi chapter leadership over who occupies the office of district president.
However, the rival groups led by the incumbent acting district president Ijaz Khan Jazi and the suspended district president Arif Abbasi say they are determined to make the party’s ‘plan-C’ successful.
A local PTI leader said the Abbasi group will stage sit-ins at 13 points and the Jazi group at 14 points. Active workers have been assigned duties of mobilising workers and supporters in their respective areas.
Member of Provincial Assembly Arif Abbasi told Dawn that he and his companions plan to shut down Rawalpindi and Islamabad by blocking roads at Sangjani, Gujar Khan, Angori, Murree, and in Rawalpindi at Faizabad, I.J. Principal Road, Saidpur Road, Committee Chowk, GPO Chowk, Chur Chowk and Tench Bhatta.
Tehsil presidents from Murree, Kotli Sattian, Kahuta, Kallar Syedan, Rawal Town, Potohar Town and Cantonment areas have been asked to bring at least 300 workers and supporters to carry out the shutdown plan they chalked out together, he said.
Divided PTI leadership in Rawalpindi says they will close roads at 27 points
“We are working for the party and putting aside our differences. But MPA Ijaz Khan Jazi and others will act on their separate plan,” he said and added that they hoped to bring a prominent leader of the party to lead the protests in the twin cities.
MPA Ijaz Khan Jazi told Dawn that the PTI Rawalpindi chapter has identified more than 14 points where roads would be blocked.
They include Rawat, Pirwadhai, Fawara Chowk, Banni Chowk, Hati Chowk, Bank Road, Chur Chowk, Faizabad, Islamabad Expressway, Golra Mor, Aabpara, Melody, Super Market, Blue Area and adjoining areas.
Mr Jazi said each area party leader would be bringing more than 200 supporters to block these points.
Senior party leadership would decide on December 17 which local leader would lead the protest demonstrations in the twin cities.
He said he had been mobilising traders and citizens for some time to join the protest demonstration.
“More than 10,000 traders of the city assured me of their participation in the strike,” he added.
Published in Dawn December 16th , 2014