Lahore: As police detained more than 600 activists of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in different parts of Punjab province, party chief Imran Khan on Saturday directed his workers to escape arrest and reach Islamabad on November 2 for a final showdown with the Nawaz Sharif government.
Cricketer-turned-politician Khan also advised party supporters to travel in groups and instead of taking the main route where police is stationed they should opt for hidden routes to arrive at the site.
Earlier, the party had planned different rallies on Saturday in Islamabad and other parts of the country to motivate the people to reach Islamabad.
A day after clashes between PTI workers and police in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, the Punjab police have closed Peshawar-Islamabad motorway and Attock Bridge by placing containers to stop the PTI workers from reaching the capital on November 2 when Khan and his supporters have a plan to lock down the city from the rest of the country.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhawa where the PTI is in power the interior ministry has clarified that the federal government would treat the chief minister and other members of the provincial assembly as “ordinary citizens” if they dare to reach Islamabad. Khan has given to options to Prime Minister Sharif either to resign or present himself for accountability for having off-shore holdings revealed in the Panama Papers.
Khan said “This is Nawaz Sharif’s dictatorship, not a democracy. We will show Nawaz Sharif on November 2 what democracy is”.
PTI leader and opposition leader in Punjab Assembly Mehmoodur Rashid said today the police have arrested more than 600 party workers in Punjab alone.
“Police will not be able to stop the workers from reaching Islamabad on November 2,” he said.
State Minister Abid Sher Ali has said the government would ensure that Islamabad remains open on Nov 2 and take strict action against those try to shut it down.
“We will stop the PTI workers and others at any cost from blocking the capital,” he said.
Khan remained under virtual house arrest at his Bani Gala residence in Islamabad yesterday as police teargassed and baton-charged scores of PTI workers before bundling them into prison vans in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Khan’s PTI had earlier held a four-month sit-in in 2014 in Islamabad against alleged rigging in the 2013 general election.