PTI’s Nov 2 ‘lockdown’ now ‘thanksgiving’ rally in Islamabad

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Pivoting from protest to peaceful celebration, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday said its November 2 lockdown will now be marked as a day of thanksgiving in Islamabad.

Addressing a press conference outside Bani Gala, chairman Imran Khan thanked those who were part of his struggle against corruption.

“Go home and rest,” Khan told supporters, “You have to return to Islamabad tomorrow to celebrate thanksgiving at Parade Ground.”

“I am elated that the investigation into Nawaz Sharif’s [alleged corruption]will begin day after tomorrow.”

He said he is most grateful to Pervez Khattak and his time.

Declaring the SC decision a “victory”, the party has decided to instead celebrate November 2 as a day of thanksgiving.

Waiting for the PTI chief’s announcement, party’s supporters danced and did push-ups.

The party’s spokesman Naeem had earlier vowed to go ahead with the November 2 protest in the capital even after

“Our sit-in will take place tomorrow. There will be no change in it,” said PTI spokesman Naeemul Haque while talking to reporters outside the Supreme Court.

“Thousands of people are pouring into Islamabad for the protest… no court has stopped us from exercising the right [to holding protests].”

Lashing out at the government for arresting PTI workers and blocking roads, the PTI leader said, “we have always remained peaceful”.

“We are glad that this commission is going to be set up… it will it will get to the root of the matter.”

But the formation of the commission does not mean, Haque said, that “we will end the fight against corruption”.

“A new Sheikh Mujibur Rehman has been born in Nawaz Sharif’s form… who separated Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from Pakistan yesterday,” he said, in an apparent reference to the government preventing a PTI convoy from KP from entering the capital.

“Panama Leaks is a small part of our collective national corruption… the whole system is corrupt here.”

Imran Khan petitions SC against ‘siege’ of Bani Gala

PTI chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday filed a petition in the Supreme Court against his ‘virtual’ house arrest, the arrest of “thousands” of PTI workers over the past three days, and the alleged manhandling of female PTI activists.

The petition states that while PTI’s leaders and workers have been practicing their constitutional rights to protest and movement within the country, the federal government has ‘gone on a warpath’.

“Since Oct 28, the federal government has used containers to block entrances into the federal capital, disconnecting KPK from the rest of the country.”

The petition further states that blockages around Khan’s house and deployment of police forces there prevented him from reaching the SC today where he was due to present himself.

‘Is asking for justice pressurising judiciary?’

Imran Khan on Tuesday asked if asking for justice from the courts regarding government crackdown on his party workers is tantamount to pressurising judiciary.

“Is asking for justice pressurising the courts?” he asked.

“If we want to know from the courts [why]we are being baton-charged, roads are being blocked and women are being arrested… is this pressurising the courts?”

He said PTI leaders will raise the issue in Supreme Court.

“What crime have we committed that PTI workers are being arrested? Why was I put under house arrest?”

He also questioned under which law the Pervez Khattak-led convoy of PTI protesters was stopped from reaching Islamabad.

“Nawaz Sharif fought election with ISI [Inter Services Intelligence] money, he doesn’t know what democracy is.”

In response to a question about Sheikh Rasheed’s tweet that Khan should step down from Bani Gala, the PTI chief said “the captain works according to his own strategy”. He said he has a strategy for Nov 2, when he will leave Bani Gala for the capital “no matter what obstacles” the government puts in his way.

Imran should have joined us in Pindi: Rasheed

Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Shaikh Rashid Tuesday said that PTI chairman Imran Khan should have joined his protest in Rawalpindi on Oct 28.

Talking to reporters outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad, he said that he does not “complain during war times” but the PTI chief should have joined his party in Rawalpindi “at any cost”.

On Oct 28, Imran Khan was scheduled to address supporters at an AML-organised meeting at Lal Haveli but later cancelled the plan saying his party is instead gearing up for the Nov 2 protest in Islamabad.

“We want to get rid of Nawaz Sharif at any cost,” Rasheed said.

“Now the army need to decide if they are with Erdogan or with people,” he said, apparently referring to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as the Turkish president. In reply to a question, he made it clear that he was not inviting the army.

“Yes Musharraf was a dictator but he was better than these thieves.”

“We will not spare the prime minister and will follow him like a stinger or silkworm missile until and unless he is sacked from his office,” he added.

PML-N demands Imran’s dope test

PML-N MNA Talal Chaudhry on Tuesday demanded that a dope test be conducted of PTI chairman Imran Khan.

“Sometimes he juggles, sometimes he does push-ups… I think you should be tested for doping so it becomes clear how many banned substances you consume,” he said, speaking to reporters outside the Supreme Court.

Hitting out at the PTI, he said “how can those who did not obey orders of the Islamabad High Court obey orders of the SC”.

He wondered why Khan has become a “fugitive” and does not show up in court hearings.

Addressing the PTI chief he said: “The protest you are doing is no protest… it is anarchy. And the federal government will not let it succeed.”

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