LAHORE: Undaunted by security threats conveyed by the Punjab government, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has decided to go ahead with its ‘Pakistan March’ in Lahore on Saturday.

The party says security threats are always there as was the case in the party’s Peshawar-Attock as well as Rawalpindi-Islamabad rallies.

A PTI spokesman said that the party’s own workers would guard the rally besides Punjab police and expected a “peaceful” Lahore show.

Meanwhile, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said at a press conference on Friday that serious security threat was looming large and urged the PTI leadership to postpone its Lahore rally and consider holding it after Eidul Azha.

The PTI plans to begin its ‘Pakistan March’ from Shahdara, northern suburb of Lahore, by midday and move inside the city with three stopovers culminating at Chairing Cross in front of the Punjab Assembly building.

The objective of the rally remains what the PTI claims educating the masses about revelations made in the Panama Papers and its ill effects on the future and well-being of Pakistan.

Speaking at a news conference at Chairman’s Secretariat on Friday, PTI central information secretary Naeemul Haq said that the PTI would continue holding rallies and educating the masses about Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s violation of the Constitution and committing other unlawful activities, including concealing assets.

“The evidence available with the PTI and other petitioner political parties is enough to remove Nawaz Sharif from premiership of Pakistan,” he asserted.

Mr Haq, however, said the party did not expect the prime minister would resign because of its Lahore or several other planned rallies before and after Eid. While announcing that the PTI would hold its public meeting in Karachi on Sept 6, Mr Haq said that PTI chief Imran Khan would announce the party’s post-Eidul Azha strategy in his address in Lahore. He agreed that the party also had a plan to hold a protest in Raiwind — where Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resides.

“The nation is in a state of disarray and needs to be united by educating it about real threats faced by the country and its economy,” he added.

“The nation will also be informed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is guilty of hiding something by not responding to the masses’ questions for the past five months,” the PTI leader said.

About the PTI’s petition seeking the prime minister’s disqualification, Mr Haq said the Supreme Court registrar’s reply while returning the petition was “frivolous”. He said the PTI had prepared an appeal against the registrar’s decision and it would be filed in a couple of days.

“A Supreme Court judge will hear the petition in his chamber and decide whether the original petition could be heard in the court or not,” he said.

The PTI spokesman expressed the hope that the PTI and other political parties and former chief justice’s legal battle in the wake of Panamagate would bring positive results next month.

Answering a question, Mr Haq said the PTI’s doors were closed for politicians belonging to the MQM and Altaf Hussain for continuously supporting anti-Pakistan policies.

“The PTI’s doors will remain closed for such politicians until they openly condemn Altaf Hussain and his anti-Pakistan policies,” the PTI leader said, adding that MNAs and MPAs belonging to the MQM should resign from assemblies.

Mr Haq said that Imran Khan and the KP chief minister had condemned the suicide attack in Mardan courthouse and visited the injured. Stating that the KP government had termed the incident a pre-planned conspiracy, he said the attack was being investigated in collaboration with the Pakistan Army.

PTI’s Punjab information secretary Samsam Bukhari said Mr Khan would address a public rally at Chairing Cross besides addressing small gatherings at stopovers in Bhatti Gate, Nasser Bagh and GPO Chowk and on The Mall.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2016



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