Saturday June 03, 2023

Analysis: What will be Nov 26 announcement?

November 21, 2022

ISLAMABAD: PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s change of long march destination from Islamabad to Rawalpindi has raised new questions. For example, whether the week starting from Nov 21 will be decisive in the wake of Nov 29 happening? Whether the long march and sit-in would remain restricted to Rawalpindi or the participants would succeed in getting access to Islamabad also.

There are other more important questions also. What announcement would be made by Imran Khan on Nov 26, and whether repetition of bitter history of 126-day-long sit-in would be permitted at Faizabad?

These and more such questions have not only created worries for not only the government officials and those sitting on responsible positions, but also thousands of common citizens, who have to travel between Rawalpindi and Islamabad on almost daily basis for their jobs, businesses and other crucial tasks. People belonging to various sectors including students of schools, colleges and universities would also be among the badly-affected people.

According to information, a special container prepared for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has been parked at a safe place near Rawat. It has been further fortified in the wake of Khan’s fears and claims that there was a threat of another attack on him, and planning was under way for it. The Punjab Police have been deputed for security of the container.

According to the plan, Imran Khan, atop the container, would lead his party workers in a rally to Kutchehry Chowk, Rawalpindi. He would deliver an address there and then move towards Faizabad through the Murree Road. Imran Khan will address his supporters at Kutchehry Chowk, where the cantonment area starts, which houses military offices.

A sit-in at Faizabad will start on Nov 26, if the programme does not change. Imran has announced that he has no favourite for the army chief post, but the question is why he is showing his power in Rawalpindi just three days before the appointment of the new army chief on Nov 29.

If his only demand had been early elections, the sit-in could have taken place after Nov 29. Imran Khan also claims that Nawaz Sharif wants to appoint the new army chief of his choice, so that he could be disqualified. However, it is not clear how an army chief can play a role in his disqualification. That is why Defence Minister Khawaja Asif tweeted that Imran does not know what allegations he is levelling against whom?

Some PTI sources and sympathisers on the social media still believe that General Bajwa can be granted another extension which Imran Khan has already offered it to him. However, the army spokesperson rejected the impression many times.

The army chief is giving a symbolic message of retirement by attending ceremonies in civil dress. But uncertainty still prevails. Nobody knows how many days the PTI sit-in will continue and what would be Imran’s main demands? He waited for the umpire to raise his finger in his 126-day sit-in at the D Chowk and it will be interesting to know what would be his slogan if the protest last long in the winter.