- Former PM says he will announce next plan of action after reaching Rawalpindi
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan on Saturday gave the call to party supporters to gather in Rawalpindi on November 26.
Addressing the long march through a video link, he announced that he will also join the long march on November 26 "and announce the next plan of action on that day". He urged PTI supporters to reach between 1-2pm and said that he will deliver an address.
"This demonstration will not stop," he said. "All experts agree that there is no way out of the political crisis other than free and fair elections. Therefore, we will demand just one thing in Islamabad."
Earlier, PTI leader Asad Umar had asked the nation on Saturday to get ready for Imran's call to converge to Islamabad “which will lead to the largest ever demonstration in the history of the country.”
Speaking to the long march in Rawat, he stated that people were out on the streets for the sake of Pakistan.
Earlier during the day, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry stated that Imran was set to announce the date of his return to the long march and "he will today make a call to the people and urge them to reach Rawalpindi."
“The second phase of Haqeeqi Azadi March will begin from Rawat and demonstrators will enter Rawalpindi,” he wrote on Twitter. “Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Asad Umar have wonderfully supervised the campaign. Today, both convoys will meet at Rawat.”
PTI also secured a no-objection certificate (NOC) to hold rally from Koral Chowk to Rawat. According to Aaj News, the government laid down 35 conditions in the NOC.
On Thursday, Imran had said “on Saturday, I will announce the date when I will reach Rawalpindi and join long march. I will lead the long march from Rawalpindi.”
“This is a defining moment for Pakistan and we can turn the country around at this point,” the former PM stressed.
He also said that doctors will give their opinion on Saturday as to when he is fit to rejoin his party's long march. He will then announce the exact date that he will once again participate in the protest.
Currently, Imran is recovering from gunshot wounds that he sustained during an assassination attempt earlier during the month. PTI leaders Asad Umar and Shah Mahmood Qureshi led the demonstration in Imran’s absence.
Earlier, the former PM said that the government wanted him out of the way because it knew that “I will not stop exposing its corrupt practices”.
“This is the reason why the government ordered an assassination attempt on me," he claimed. The government has denied these allegations.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday flagged the risk of another attack on Imran.
“According to the intelligence reports submitted by the police, there are fears of another attack on Imran,” said IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq during a joint hearing of two petitions.
The first petition was registered by PTI to seek a no-objection certificate (NOC) allowing it to hold protests and sit-ins. The second one was lodged by traders who are concerned that the closure of main arteries in the capital by long march protesters is hurting business.
During the hearing, the police presented a report and said recently-analysed chatter suggested the possibility of another attack on Imran during PTI's long march, which is being held to pressure the government to hold snap elections.
“It is the responsibility of the government and the state to look into the matter,” the chief justice said.