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PTI to hold anti-graft show on The Mall today

PTI to hold anti-graft show on The Mall today

LAHORE: Buckling under the pressure of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, the administration has agreed to provide security cover to Imran Khan’s much-trumpeted May 1 public meeting at the “banned venue” – Faisal Chowk -- on The Mall.

The government had been directly or indirectly conveying to the PTI leadership that it would not allow the party to hold its public meeting following terrorism threat alerts for Lahore, specifically related to PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

The administration also informed the PTI representatives about the ban on holding public gathering on The Mall as per a Lahore High Court judgment.

However, the PTI leadership, including chairman Imran Khan, had vowed to hold the public meeting come what may at the already decided venue.

The public meeting aims at stepping up (moral) pressure on the prime minister for ensuring transparent investigations into Panama leaks.

In order to boost party workers’ enthusiasm, the chief organiser of the PTI’s public meeting Abdul Aleem Khan organised a “warm-up rally” from Liberty Roundabout to the Faisal Chowk on Saturday. The enthusiastic PTI workers waving party flags chanted slogans against the rulers, including their favourite “Go Nawaz Go”.

The PTI has displayed party banners, hoardings and streamers allover the city, inviting Lahorites to the public meeting. The theme slogan reads: “Corruption sey Chhutkara – Imran Khan ney pukara” (Imran calls for getting rid of corruption).

Aleem Khan says all arrangements have been made for the “massive show” on Sunday (today). Having doubts about the government’s intentions, a consultative meeting of the party presided over by Aleem Khan also devised a “Plan-B” to meet any extraordinary situation, including alternative routes and preparations.

In order to attract a massive crowd at the venue, the party will organise two rallies – one from Shahdra Morr Metro Bus station and other from Main Boulevard, Gulberg, to the Faisal Chowk. The rallies will be led by Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Shafqat Mahmood, respectively.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan visited the public meeting venue late on Saturday night and said he knew the Lahorites would enthusiastically participate in the Sunday’s public meeting.

SECURITY: Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Amin Wains at a meeting held on Saturday ordered deployment of some 3,000 policemen for security of the PTI public meeting participants.

All city divisions’ superintendents of police (SPs) will be responsible for the security.

The CCPO also ordered a search operation across the city on Saturday night, besides installation of some 70 CCTV night vision cameras to monitor the public meeting and check any untoward incident.

Snipers will also be deployed on the rooftops of the buildings near the venue.

Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2016

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