LAHORE, March 25: Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf on Friday took out “Freedom Rally” from Ichhra to Mozang, where CIA operative Raymond Davis shot dead two young men on January 27.
Unlike the previous anti-US and anti-government rallies where the PTI seemed to be joining hands with hard-line religious parties, this was its exclusive show with an effort to demonstrate its ‘moderate’ look.
Music was played and some singers also amused the participants. A good number of women was also present. PTI workers wanted to make to the stage along with Khan. The rally had less anti-US and more political colour and its size gave credence to the ‘prediction’ of some political pundits that PTI would make a dent to the vote bank of the PML-N in the future.
Banners and placards were inscribed with slogans like “We want freedom from the rulers who are US slaves”, “We got independence from the British in 1947, when will we get independence from the US?” and “Imran is the symbol of change”.
Speaking on the occasion, Khan told the government to immediately get drone attacks stopped otherwise the PTI would stage a three-day sit-in on the road in Peshawar from where Nato trucks were leaving for Afghanistan. He said the rulers were apathetic toward the killing of a large number of Pakistanis in drone attacks. “Time has come to liberate the country from the slaves of the US,” he said.
The cricketer-turned-politician criticised the government for freeing Davis. “It was a fixed match. The blood of Pakistanis is being sold,” he said.
Khan said with the help of the youth he would liberate the parliament from “qabza mafia” and force the politicians to bring their wealth back to Pakistan. He expressed solidarity with the protesting PCS officers and doctors.
PTI leaders Mahmood Rashid, Omar Cheema and Ijaz Chaudhry also spoke.