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Thursday December 01, 2022

Imran says 'thieves' won't be tolerated as long march's day 1 ends

Interior minister warns against mob attacks; party leaders dedicate "Haqeeqi Azadi March" to late journalist Arshad Sharif

By Web Desk
October 29, 2022

PTI leaders on top of a container as PTI Chairman Imran Khan (centre) leads the Haqeeqi Azadi March in Lahore, on October 28, 2022. — Facebook/ImranKhan
PTI leaders on top of a container as PTI Chairman Imran Khan (centre) leads the "Haqeeqi Azadi March" in Lahore, on October 28, 2022. — Facebook/ImranKhan

LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: All eyes are on the federal capital as the PTI is on its anti-government long march which has been termed by the party chairman as the "biggest freedom movement" in the country's history.

In Saturday's early hours, the PTI chief announced to resume the long march  at 11am today as the first day's journey has come to an end.  Imran asked the party's supporters to get rest and start the journey towards the federal capital from Shahdara.

Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah warned against any mob attacks, with Pakistan's top court earlier rejecting the government's plea for orders to immediately stop PTI's long march to the federal capital. 

Imran kicked off the protest march with an emotionally-charged speech, saying that the ‘Haqeeqi Azadi Long March’ was not for any personal or political interest to oust or to form a government but to liberate the country from the thieves who had seized power to get their corruption cases waived.

This is the PTI chair's second march towards Islamabad after he was ousted via a no-confidence motion earlier this year.

The political instability in Pakistan has also fuelled economic uncertainty, with international rating agencies questioning if the current government can maintain difficult economic policies in the face of political pressure and looming elections.

On Friday, the long march started from Liberty Chowk in Lahore and passed through M.A.O Chowk, Icchra and Mozang. After the long march arrived at Data Darbar, the PTI chief addressed the rally. According to the instructions given by Imran Khan, the march will resume at 11am today. It will enter the federal capital after passing through Kamonki, Gujranwala, Daska, Sumbrial, Lala Musa, Khariyan, Gujjar Khan and Rawalpindi. 

Read on for the latest updates from Pakistan on PTI's long march.


12:40am: PTI halts march for the day; to resume at 11am 

PTI Chairman Imran Khan halted the long march at the end of the first day of the anti-government protest.

"I knew Lahore would never disappoint me," he said, addressing the participants of the march at the Data Darbar, Lahore. "However, we are concluding our Islamabad-bound journey for today."

Khan announced that the long march would resume its journey towards the federal capital at 11am from Shahdara, outside Lahore.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses participants of the long march in Lahore, on October 29, 2022. — YouTube/GeoNews
PTI Chairman Imran Khan addresses participants of the long march in Lahore, on October 29, 2022. — YouTube/GeoNews

The PTI chief reiterated his stance, saying the long march was neither for politics nor was it a regular movement. Instead, it is a "jihad" for real freedom, he stressed. 


10:55pm: Senator says long march seeking 'bloodshed'

Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s politics of lies and deceit have been exposed.

In a press conference, she said Khan would "sacrifice the country for his greed for power".

Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman addresses a press conference at PID media center in Islamabad, on October 28, 2022. — APP
Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman addresses a press conference at PID media center in Islamabad, on October 28, 2022. — APP

“PTI’s march is not a long march, but a short march. If he wants to do a long march, he should have started from Karachi. They ask us why we have put blockades all over the capital."

"Do they want us to leave the capital open for them so they can harm the institutions as they did with PTV in 2014. When we did a long march from Karachi, we didn’t harm a single tree, but Khan’s closest companion has said that there will be blood and violence."

"Imran wants things to escalate, so he can find a legitimate excuse to cross into the Red Zone. He doesn’t want to do anything for the people, except burning and starting a violent march," she added.


10:30pm: Holding marches right of every political party: JI

JI chief Siraj-ul-Haq has said that holding marches is the right of every political party and that the nation was well-aware of the ruling parties' protests in the past.

In a statement, he said the only solution to ending the ongoing problems are snap and transparent polls. "But before that, it is imperative to introduce electoral reforms."


10:15pm: VIDEO: PTI's long march reaches Ichra


9:58pm: 'I can say a lot,' Imran Khan warns

LAHORE: PTI Chairman Imran Khan said he was tight-lipped and refraining from uttering anything against the state institutions as he wanted to safeguard them.

In a conversation with Geo News, he said: "I don't want to say anything, I can say a lot. I don't want the enemies of Pakistan — who are against the army — to take advantage of my statements."

The army should not be harmed by my statements."


8:16pm: Better to die than become slaves of 'thieves': Imran Khan

PTI Chairman Imran Khan, while speaking to the marchers, said it is better to die than to become slaves of “thieves”.

During his speech at Ichra, the second stop of PTI, Khan reiterated that he will never accept slavery, challenging the authorities concerned to try to stop the tsunami of the people.

“Be prepared to get our country liberated,” Khan told thousands of people marching towards the federal capital. 


8:12pm: Bukhari says people marching for 'real freedom'

PTI leader Syed Zulfi Bukhari said the people's long march — under the leadership of Imran Khan — has started for "real freedom".

"Mothers, sisters and daughters of the nation have nobly welcomed their leader. This is proof that the nation has woken up," Bukhari said in a tweet.

"The reign of conspirators is about to end."


7:29pm: What's PTI's route in Lahore?


7:00: Punjab Police on 'alert'

LAHORE: Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Pervez Elahi chaired a high-level meeting to review the security situation amid the PTI's long march.

The CM told officials present at the meeting that they should keep monitoring the march's routes through security cameras while full protection should be given to the participants.

"The entire force is on alert to thwart the nefarious plans of miscreants [...] Imran Khan has said that the participants of the long march will remain peaceful," the CM mentioned.

CM Elahi said he was personally monitoring the public order situation in the province and also directed the relevant officials to ensure the law and order situation with the coordination of relevant institutions.


6:00: In pictures: PTI Chairman Imran Khan on top of container


5:30pm: Imran Khan 'failed': Rana Sanaullah

Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah addresses a press conference in Islamabad at the Press Information Department, on October 28, 2022. — YouTube/PTVNewsLive
Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah addresses a press conference in Islamabad at the Press Information Department, on October 28, 2022. — YouTube/PTVNewsLive

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah said that PTI Chairman Imran Khan tried to threaten the government and made repeated speeches, but when all tactics failed, he finally resorted to holding a long march.

"Imran Khan wants to threaten [the government and institutions], but he has failed in this regard," he said.

Sanaullah said if the promises that Khan has made to the Supreme Court are true, then the PTI has the right to hold the long march. "Everyone has the right to hold a protest, but the Red Zone is our red line."


5:01pm: Imran Khan to establish Shaheed Arshad Sharif University of Journalism 

PTI Chairman Imran Khan has announced the establishment of a journalism university under slain journalist Arshad Sharif's name in Punjab — who lost his life in Kenya last week in a "mistaken identity" case.

The PTI has dedicated its march to Sharif.


4:42pm: WATCH: Aerial view of PTI's long march


4:26pm: PTI finally begins long march to Islamabad

The PTI began its long march towards Islamabad after the conclusion of the PTI chief's speech.

Before the start, Senator Faisal Javed also took an oath from the participants.


3:31pm: 'Nation won't tolerate thieves': Imran speaks to supporters at Liberty Chowk

Imran says thieves wont be tolerated as long marchs day 1 ends

Former prime minister Imran Khan is addressing a "tsunami" of PTI supporters at Lahore's Liberty Chowk, as they stand ready to kick off the party's "historic" long march.

Imran kicked off the protest march with an emotionally-charged speech, saying that the ‘Haqeeqi Azadi Long March’ was not for any personal or political interest to oust or to form a government but to liberate the country from the thieves who had seized power to get their corruption cases waived.

He vowed that they would not enter the Red Zone.


3:17pm: 'Tsunami' welcomes PTI Chairman Imran Khan at Liberty Chowk

 


1:57pm: Imran Khan's container finally reaches Liberty chowk


12:45pm: Dedicate Haqeeqi Azadi March to Arshad Sharif: Fawad

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the nation had refused to be subservient to a "foreign-funded" instigator and had rejected the "bloody march".

Her tweet came in response to PTI  leader Fawad Chaudhry's call to Lahore to join Imran Khan in support of the long march.


12:50pm: PTI announces charter of demands

Announcing his party’s “Charter of Demands” ahead of their long march, PTI leader Asad Umar Friday said they were not out to overpower anyone but to claim what was rightfully theirs.

“We have not come out to conquer anyone. We don’t seek reinstatement of the PTI government or Imran Khan as prime minister. We demand immediate free and fair elections so that the country can be steered out of the economic, social, and political crisis,” Umar said addressing a press conference.

“The constitution allows us to hold public rallies on 365 days of the year.”


12:30pm: Dedicate Haqeeqi Azadi March to Arshad Sharif: Fawad

PTI leaders Fawad Chaudhry and Asad Umar hold a presser on October 28, 2022.
PTI leaders Fawad Chaudhry and Asad Umar hold a presser on October 28, 2022.

In a news conference, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry, who was accompanied by Asad Umar, slammed the country's judiciary.

Referring to the chief justice of Pakistan, Chaudhry said that Arshad Sharif had appealed to you to take notice. "Had you taken the notice, Arshad Sharif would have been alive today," he said, calling on the judiciary to implement the Constitution and stand for the rights of the public.

We dedicate this Haqeeqi Azadi March to journalists like Arshad Sharif who had to bear the torture of the last six months, he said.


12:07pm: No party leaders present at Liberty Chowk

 PTI workers continued to reach  Liberty Chowk, but no party leaders could be seen at the location, Geo News correspondent Sohail Imran reported.

Party chief Imran Khan is expected to address the rally before its start.

A large number of security personnel is deployed at Lahore's Gulberg area and its surrounding area.


11:38am: Hammad Azhar off to Liberty Chowk


11:00am: Video: PTI's long march plan explained


11:00am: MPA Khurram Laghari leaves PTI ahead of long march

Imran says thieves wont be tolerated as long marchs day 1 ends

With PTI's long march yet to start and day after DGS ISI and ISPR's press conference, the party's Punjab Assembly lawmaker Khurram Sohail Khan Laghari announced that he will be leaving the Imran Khan-led party.

Laghari claimed that five more MPAs have decided to leave the PTI.

We were shown "something else" but "something else" was seen practically, said the MPA.

"It is possible that we might also resign from the assembly," said Laghari. He added that they are likely to resign from the Punjab Assembly in the next three to four days.

Laghari expressed his concerns regarding the Punjab Assembly cabinet, saying that they should know the criteria for appointing a minister.

Laghari contested in the 2018 general elections as an independent candidate. He later joined the PTI after the 2018 polls.


10:55am: Mob attacks won't be allowed: Rana Sana

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan vowed not to allow any mob to attack Islamabad.

“If mob culture is developed, then where will democracy and state [go],” said Sanaullah while talking to the media outside Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench. The Supreme Court has ruled on long march and sit-ins, he added.


10:40am: Leave your homes, join Imran Khan for your children's future: Fawad

Ahead of the march, PTI Leader Fawad Chaudhry urged Lahore to leave their homes and march with PTI Chairman Imran Khan for the sake of their children's future.

If you want to change the system in Pakistan, leave your home, Fawad wrote on Twitter.


10:00am: March to be peaceful: Ali Muhammad

The long march will be peaceful, assured PTI's Ali Muhammad Khan ahead of it. "We will keep our political movement peaceful irrespective of the threats," he said in a video message.