Monday, March 13, 2023
Following a meeting with the leadership of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the Lahore district administration on late Sunday allowed the Imran Khan-led party to stage an election rally in Punjab's capital city on Monday (today), well-placed sources said.
The sources, privy to the matter, said that the meeting was held at the direction of Punjab caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Raza Naqvi.
During the huddle, the PTI’s leadership submitted an affidavit, assuring the city’s administration of its full cooperation with them, the police and the security officials.
The former ruling party also assured the authority that it would comply with the concerned law about the usage of the sound system. Speeches against the state institutions and judiciary will not be allowed in the rally, agreed the PTI.
The PTI would be responsible if public property is demanded during the rally, read the affidavit.
Earlier in the day, Imran Khan, who was ousted from the government after losing a no-confidence vote on April 9 last year, postponed his election rally after the interim government refused to lift Section 144.
According to PTI Lahore Chapter President Imtiaz Shaikh, a rally will be taken out from Zaman Park to Data Darbar at 2pm today.
“Imran Khan will lead the rally,” he confirmed.
This would be the first rally that Khan would lead in more than four months as he was mobilising the party from his Zaman Park residence in Punjab's capital. The PTI chief had been at home as he was "recovering" from an injury he sustained last year.
Khan was shot in the legs on November 3 as he waved to crowds from a truck-mounted container while leading a protest march to Islamabad to pressure the government into announcing an early election — but it was cut short in Rawalpindi.
The general elections in Punjab are scheduled to be held on April 30, while the date for the polls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is yet to be announced as Governor Ghulam Ali has not made a decision yet.
Taking to Twitter, the PTI chief, earlier today claimed that Section 144 was imposed "illegally solely on PTI election campaign" despite other public activities ongoing in Lahore.
"Only Zaman Park has been surrounded by containers & heavy police contingent. Clearly, like 8 March, Punjab CM & police want to provoke clashes to file more sham FIRs against PTI leadership and workers and to use as pretext for postponing elections," the former prime minister added.
The PTI chairman questioned how Section 144 can be imposed in the provincial capital despite the announcement of the election schedule.
"I AM TELLING ALL PTI WORKERS NOT TO FALL INTO THIS TRAP. Hence we have postponed rally till tomorrow," said the PTI chief.