ISLAMABAD / LAHORE: Just a week after PTI leaders and workers came face to face with the police during nationwide protests against the alleged rigging in the Feb 8 general elections, the party is planning to stage another series of demonstrations across the country today (Sunday) on the call of incarcerated party founder Imran Khan.

The call for demonstrations came on the day PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari became the country’s president for a second time.

According to a PTI spokesperson, the nation would never accept the “proven, most corrupt persons as the president and prime minister of the country against their will”.

He announced that the party would hold peaceful protests across the country today (Sunday) on the call of their leader, Imran Khan, to reclaim the “stolen” mandate.

Party says people will never accept ‘most corrupt persons’ as president, prime minister

Advocate Shoaib Shaheen, who had contested Feb 8 elections for an NA seat from Islamabad, told Dawn that protesters would converge on Islamabad’s Zero Point Interchange at 2pm and then head to the National Press Club (NPC).

“I will start my rally from G-9/3. Similarly, Amir Mughal and Ali Bukhari (who also contested elections from Islamabad) will lead rallies and we will be united at Zero Point,” he said. “After that, we will go to the NPC to hold a protest. It will be a peaceful protest.”

The PTI has also identified several other locations for protests.

In south Punjab, for instance, the party said it would stage protests at Saho Chowk at Khanewal Road in Multan; Traffic Chowk in Dera Ghazi Khan; Dua Chowk in Rahim Yar Khan; Yadgar Chowk Azam in Layyah; Siraeki Chowk in Bahawalpur; and Katchery Chowk in Muzaffargarh.

In Karachi, the PTI has announced demonstrations from the DC Office to Dawood Chowrangi in Malir district; at Korangi No. 2½ in Korangi district, at Hyderi Market, North Nazimabad in Central district; at Naya Nazimabad in West district; in Layari in South district, Shershah Paracha Chowk in Keamari district.

Similarly, PTI central Punjab general secretary and former federal minister Hammad Azhar, who has been in hiding since May 9 riots last year, posted on X (formerly Twitter) that the party leaders and workers would hold a peaceful protest demonstration at Ghanta Ghar in Faisalabad on Sunday at 2pm.

The party also plans to stage a demonstration at Kabootar Chowk in Peshawar at 2pm.

On March 2, the PTI staged demonstrations against the ECP’s alleged malpractices, but the protesters were confronted by the police. The party had claimed that some 80 protesters were arrested from Lahore alone. The very next day, a PTI worker, Ahmad Shah, had landed in the Lahore General Hospital with a head injury.

Videos of people being dragged out of cars and arrested for displaying PTI flags on their cars were also doing the rounds on social media after the March 2 protests.

Published in Dawn, March 10th, 2024

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