Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan is leading his party's election rally in Lahore despite security and arrest threats — after finally being allowed by the interim Punjab government to hold a procession.
The party announced to kick off its election campaign today after cancelling the rally twice in the last week following the imposition of Section 144 in the city.
It is important to note that the PTI chairman has been seeking exemptions on the pretext of security. An Islamabad police team has also reached Lahore to arrest Khan in judge threatening case.
According to Geo News, Khan set out in a bullet-proof vehicle from his Zaman Park residence leading the rally that will culminate at Data Darbar.
The local administration allowed the PTI after the party leadership's promise of adhering to the government’s directives. They 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 damaged during the rally, read the affidavit.
On Sunday, 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.
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.
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