LAHORE – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is holding its power show at Minar-e-Pakistan tonight while former prime minister Imran Khan will address the gathering shortly.
A larger number of supporters of the defiant politicians are present in the ground where Senator Faisal Javed is charging the public. Strict security measures have been taken to avoid any untoward situation as the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) has issued threat alert.
Meanwhile, the route of the PTI chief to reach the venue has been kept secret due to security reasons. The former premier will address the public from a bullet proof container.
اہلیان لاہور۔۔آج آپ کا دن ہے۔ مینار پاکستان کی طرف روانہ ہوں اور جابر حکمرانوں کو منہ تور جواب دیں- #حقیقی_آزادی_جلسہ pic.twitter.com/WLaxj15F3p
— PTI (@PTIofficial) March 25, 2023
تمام تر اوچھے ہتھکنڈوں کے باوجود مینار پاکستان میں عوام کی بہت بڑی تعداد میں آمد کا سلسلہ جاری۔
— PTI (@PTIofficial) March 25, 2023
Reports said internet services have been downed in areas nearby Minar-e-Pakistan.
Earlier in the day, the Punjab government mounted containers in several parts of the city, apparently to stop leaders and workers of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf from joining the party’s much-touted power show in the provincial capital.
Besides closing several arteries in country’s second-largest city Lahore, the police raided the houses of several PTI leaders and workers and detained scores of activists in the province ahead of the Minar-e-Pakistan rally.
Routes from Data Darbar to Minar-e-Pakistan were closed by placing containers while barriers were mounted near Shah Alam Market Chowk, Lahore Railway Station, Rang Mahal, and Taxali Gate. Shahdara Chowk and Ravi Bridge were also closed by placing containers.
As the entry and exit points of the provincial capital were sealed, City Traffic Police Lahore has shared updates on closed routes, advising residents to use alternative routes.
درج ذیل سڑکیں ٹریفک کے لیے بند ہیں.براہ کرم متبادل راستے اختیار کریں اور 15 پر کال کریں یا مدد کے لیے اپنے موبائل پر RASTA APP ڈاؤن لوڈ کریں۔#ctplahore #services pic.twitter.com/SyCEUUXHpm
— City Traffic Police Lahore (@ctplahore) March 25, 2023
Police parties conducted raids at the residence of Usman Dar in Sialkot but he escaped. Former-assistant advocate general Punjab Mian Shakeel also managed to dodge police amid an ongoing crackdown.
A similar crackdown against leaders and workers of the former ruling party also continued in Lahore as the residences of Mian Abid Ali, and Waqar Zulfiqar Bhatti were raided in late-night action.
Amid the crackdown, the defiant leader and PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced holding a rally at Minar-e-Pakistan tonight. In a social media post, the former premier said that the authorities would try to put all sorts of hurdles to prevent the masses from attending the PTI gathering but called on people to attend it despite all obstacles.
They will put all sorts of hurdles to prevent people from attending, but I want to remind our ppl that it is their fundamental right to attend a political gathering. Everyone must assert their right as people of a free nation that won its independence & come to Minar i Pakistan.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 25, 2023
“Tonight will be our 6th jalsa at Minar i Pakistan & my heart tells me it will break all records. I am inviting everyone in Lahore to attend after Tarawih prayers. I will give my vision of Haqeeqi Azadi & how we will pull Pak out of the mess cabal of crooks have put our country in…They will put all sorts of hurdles to prevent people from attending, but I want to remind our ppl that it is their fundamental right to attend a political gathering. Everyone must assert their right as people of a free nation that won its independence & come to Minar i Pakistan,” Imran Khan wrote.