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LAHORE: The PML-N has chosen the Lohari Gate to kick off its rally to the airport to accord a warm welcome to the ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam who are returning from London on Friday (today) because of its historic importance.

PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif has reportedly finalised the venue after consulting the party Quaid (Nawaz Shairf) and other leaders.

“PML-N will start its historic rally from the historic point of Muslim Mosque, Lohari Gate. A large number of PML-N workers and people will gather there and march toward the airport to receive their beloved leader,” PML-N media coordinator Muhammad Mehdi told Dawn on Thursday.

He said the Lohari Gate was a central point of three constituencies -- NA-124, NA-123 and NA-125. In the political history of the city, rallies that began from the spot assumed historic value and this would also prove to be a historic one,” he claimed.

Mr Mehdi expressed the hope that police would not pounce on the rally on someone’s order as the participants would remain peaceful. “Why Section 144 has been imposed in Lahore. PTI chairman on Thursday held a public meeting in Lahore. Was it not a violation of Section 144. It appears that the ban applies only to those raising the slogan of ‘give respect to the vote’,” he said.

The PML-N has chalked out a thorough plan in anticipation of police action against the rally. According to a party insider, all party ticket holders in Lahore had been directed to join in the rally at different points along with the workers from their constituencies.

“Most of the workers have gone underground who will appear on the city roads on Friday. In case police stop the rally at Lohari the workers from other parts of Lahore are directed to reach the airport at any cost,” he said.

Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2018