PTI changes date of Islamabad protest


PTI changes date of Islamabad protest ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has decided in principle to change the date of its protest sit-in in Islamabad.

The party will, however, decide on Monday whether it will go ahead with its plan of closing the capital on November 2 or 3.

A senior leader of the PTI told Dawn that the party changed its early decision to hold the protest on Oct 30 for two reasons: Muharram and Sunday falling on Oct 30. “The party leaders were of the view that Imran Khan had announced to lay siege Islamabad after Muharram which is likely to end on October 30 or November 1.”

Decision to hold sit-in in capital on Nov 2 or 3 will be made today

He said some people were also of the view that the party should close the capital on a working day. He said the PTI wanted to close all roads leading to the federal capital.

The senior leader added that during a meeting of the PTI core committee held under the chairmanship of Irman Khan at Banni Gala on Sunday, the option to close Rawalpindi before the sit-in in Islamabad was also discussed.

However, he said, the party chief rejected the idea as he wanted the presence of all the party workers in Islamabad.

He said the party wanted to mobilise its workers in the Rawalpindi region, including Rawalpindi, Attock, Chakwal and Jhelum.

He added that there were also reports that Sheikh Rashid had invited Imran Khan to hold a public meeting at Lal Haveli before the Islamabad sit-in.

He said the PTI had asked its local leaders to mobilise the workers and supporters for the protest. There was a need to work for making the protest a success and for this the party’s leaders in Rawalpindi should end their differences, he added.

When contacted, PTI spokesman Naeemul Haq confirmed to Dawn that a decision had been taken to change the date of the protest from October 30. He said the PTI was considering holding the siege of Islamabad on November 2, 3 and 4.

He said a formal announcement in this regard would be made on Monday after consultations with the party central leaders.

On the other hand, the PML-N leaders have advised the provincial government and the local administration of Islamabad to not stop the PTI workers from entering the federal capital.

“The PTI wanted to create a situation of unrest in the twin cities and there is no need to stop them until they end the protest on their own,” a senior PML-N leader told Dawn.

He also said the federal and provincial governments had not issued any directions to the local police and administration to stop the PTI rallies.


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