Imran announces country-wide mass mobilisation campaign at PTI's Lahore power show

Published August 13, 2022
<p>PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses a party power show at Lahore’s Hockey Ground on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV</p>

PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses a party power show at Lahore’s Hockey Ground on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV

<p>PTI supporters at a party rally at Lahore’s Hockey Ground on Saturday. — PTI Twitter</p>

PTI supporters at a party rally at Lahore’s Hockey Ground on Saturday. — PTI Twitter

PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced a country-wide mass mobilisation campaign while addressing the party's power show at Lahore's Hockey Ground on Saturday.

The address was being telecast across the country. At midnight, a fireworks display and flag-hoisting ceremony were also held to celebrate August 14.

"I today want to announce my next plan of action, firstly I've decided to go out among the people, I'll go to them, I've made a plan for a whole tour," Imran said, adding that he would hold a rally in Rawalpindi next week, and then in Karachi a few days later.

The PTI chief said he had not had the opportunity to "properly combat [PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali] Zardari" and was going to Sindh for that purpose.

Announcing his planned itinerary, Imran said he planned to visit Sukkur, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Peshawar, Mardan, Attock, Abbottabad, Multan, Bahawalpur, Sargodha, Jhelum, Gujrat, Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Quetta.

"I am going out among the people and am readying them for our battle for real freedom which is in its last and most decisive stage," the PTI chief said, adding that he had galvanised his party and its sub-organisations to prepare for the campaign.

He said he wanted the people to take his message of "real freedom" to every doorstep.

The former prime minister predicted that come next Aug 14, "we will have taken our haqeeqi azadi (actual freedom)."

Earlier, Imran welcomed the crowd and praised its passion and fervour. He said he would give his roadmap of "real freedom" and the steps that needed to be taken for its achievement.

"I'm not ready to compromise on my people's interests," the former prime minister said, adding that he would never allow the nation to become a slave to anyone.

He said he would unite the nation and together it would pay off the country's loans and stand on its feet after bearing difficult times.

"I know my nation is ready for sacrifices. The struggle for real freedom will continue until we don't send the imported government packing and have fair and free elections."

Last week, the PTI announced to hold a "historic power show" in Hockey Ground on the eve of Pakistan's 75th independence day, which will be celebrated tomorrow.

Talking to media persons at the rally's venue earlier today, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that the theme of the gathering was "Haqeeqi Azadi".

"What is true freedom? It is believing that we won't bow down in front of anyone except God. This is Imran's goal and this is the theme of our rally."

He went on to say that the PTI chairman would reveal the future strategy of the party tonight as the "party has entered the final stages of our movement".

'Punjab govt to investigate Sanaullah'

The PTI leader said that the PTI had written a letter to the Punjab government seeking an investigation into the events of the party's long march to Islamabad within 15 days.

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry talks to media persons at Lahore's Hockey Ground on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV
PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry talks to media persons at Lahore's Hockey Ground on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV

The march on May 25 was preceded by the authorities invoking Section 144, a measure used to curb gatherings. Shipping containers were put in place on major thoroughfares to block their path.

Undeterred by the moves, the marchers, who tried to force through the containers to make their way to Islamabad, were met with tear gas as police tried to disperse them. Police also charged at them with batons.

Talking to reporters, Chaudhry said that the Punjab government had begun investigations and was probing PML-N leader Atta Tarar and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah as well.

"Unlike them [the federal government], we haven't displayed fascism, neither have we picked up people. We are just investigating people and that is our right."

He said that if Tarar and Sanaullah would hide in Islamabad, "we will have no option but to declare them wanted", adding that the leaders should not be scared and clarify their position on the matter.

Chaudhry also criticised former Punjab chief minister Hamza Shehbaz for "running to London". "These are the people who have money laundering cases registered against them, yet they are given relief.

"While the wife of Shahbaz Gill's driver is suffering. The women of Izhar's families have been dragged by the police," he said, highlighting that the moral imbalance in the society was deeply concerning.

The PTI leader also expressed confidence that by Monday, Gill — who was arrested for passing controversial statements against the armed forces — would be granted bail.

Need for fresh elections

Meanwhile, Chaudhry went on challenge PM Shehbaz and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman for contesting elections against Imran and proving "who the public loved more".

He stressed that the incumbent government's "tactics" against PTI would only push the country towards crisis and send the economy into a nosedive.

"If the PTI starts a street movement, the government won't last five days," he asserted. "But we want to go towards elections without any discord."

He also stated that the party was prepared to talk to the government once it announced a date for the fresh polls. "A debate on the political framework can be started but it will be dependent on them."

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