Punjab govt lends support to Imran for long march

PTI chief says he planned long march after thorough deliberations

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Wednesday said he had planned the long march after thorough deliberations.

Addressing the parliamentary party meeting at Chief Minister’s Secretariat, the former prime minister said that he knows very well how to achieve his target.

“We defeated them in the recently held by-polls despite the fact that they were supported by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP),” said Imran Khan a day after he announced that PTI’s long march will begin from Lahore on Friday.

Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Sibtain Khan, Dr Yasmin Rashid, Omar Sarfraz Cheema, Hammad Azhar and other party leaders were also present on the occasion.

The MPAs assured Imran of their full support for the long march. The provincial lawmakers said that they will stand by Imran Khan till the end.

Earlier in the day, Imran Khan also held separate meeting with Elahi wherein the overall political situation and the long march came under discussion.

Speaking on the occasion, the PTI chief said that the incumbent federal government had miserably failed on every front, reiterating that his long march is ‘Jehad’ for the ‘haqeeqi azadi’. “The long march will create history.”

The CM said that the people of Pakistan are standing by Imran Khan and the long march will wipe out the “imported government”. He underscored that Imran Khan is a ray of hope for the people of Pakistan.

The long march of the PTI will start from Lahore’s Liberty Chowk. According to the schedule, the march will make a stopover in Shahdara during the night and will leave Lahore the very next day. It has also been decided that the marchers won’t travel during night to avoid any untoward incident.

From Liberty to Shahdara, Imran will make a series of addresses at Ichhra, Mozang, Data Darbar, Azadi Chowk and Shahdara.

Meanwhile, the container of Imran Khan reached Liberty roundabout that remained the centre of attraction throughout the day.

Govt to call in army

Separately, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Wednesday said that the federal government would call in the armed forces – including the Pakistan Army and Rangers – to deal with any untoward situation during PTI’s long march

Speaking to a private TV channel, Sanaullah said that the government will take PTI’s march and its participants head-on by ensuring all possible security measures for the maintenance of law and order.

“Yes, surely we will call [in] the army under Article 245 [of the Constitution]. Police and FC will form the first line [of defence] and they will be armed with teargas [shells] and rubber bullets to control the mob,” Sanaullah said.

Sanaullah also hinted at arresting the PTI chief and added that PML-N worker’s help may also be sought if chaos ensues.

“We will go to the last mile. If he could bring people from the entire country, we too, can call our supporters from the entire country,” he said, claiming that the number of protestors with Khan would not be over 15,000.


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