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LAHORE: The district administration has refused permission to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) to hold a public rally at Minar-i-Pakistan on April 29, asking it to shift the venue to Nasser Bagh.

On the other hand, the party is all set to go with its original plan and it is making all the necessary arrangements.

Responding to PTI MPA Shoaib Siddiqui’s request to allow his party to hold its public meeting at Minar-i-Pakistan ground which had been turned into Greater Iqbal Park, Deputy Commissioner Sumair Ahmed Syed informed the applicant that the park had become a part of national heritage and the Cabinet Committee on Law and Order had already directed the administration to stop all kinds of political or religious gatherings there to ensure safety and security of the infrastructure.

Stating that there was a notified place, ‘Nasser Bagh,’ for holding of such rallies and processions, the DC declined the PTI’s request for its rally at Minar-i-Pakistan. He suggested to the PTI to shift the venue to Nasser Bagh.

Despite the government’s refusal, the PTI is sticking to its original plan and venue for the rally. Its Central Punjab President Abdul Aleem Khan, MPA Shoaib Siddiqui and other party leaders visited the Minar-i-Pakistan on Monday and discussed the setting up of stage and public sitting area.

Speaking to the media, Mr Khan said the PTI would stage yet another historic public meeting and arrangements would begin after Imran Khan’s Lahore visit on April 20. He said the city would be adorned with the party flags, banners and hoardings. About 100 reception camps would also be set up and the party leaders would be assigned duties in their constituencies.

“The PTI workers would reach Lahore on special trains from across the province and the party would celebrate the occasion on April 28, a night before the big day,” he concluded.

Published in Dawn, Aprill 17th, 2018