The Punjab government took the announcement of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) ‘Raiwind march calmly and plans to “softly” handle Imran Khan’s rally at Raiwind, treating it as yet another “meaningless” protest.
According to reports, the Punjab government has decided to place shipping containers on key roads leading to Jati Umra in Raiwind.
Official said like in the past the PTI leadership would be requested to refrain from taking so many people on the road in view of the threat of terrorism or the responsibility of any eventuality would lay squarely on it.
And under the cover of this caution, there would be a security plan for the route of the rally and its culmination plan which would also ensure the protection of public life and property from the participants. They would never be allowed to move an inch ahead of Adda Plot.
Earlier, the media had shown PML-N workers flexing their muscles and brandishing batons on Saturday, threatening to “see” the PTI if it dares come close to the Raiwind estate of the Sharif family. In response, a “(cricket) Bat Force” of the PTI activists emerged on television screens on Sunday to handle the “Danda Force.”
Later in the day, PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced in Islamabad that the party would march on Raiwind on Sept 30.
The party had earlier announced that it would hold the rally in front of the Raiwind residence of the Sharif family. But later it changed the venue to Adda Plot, some 5km from the residence in view of the objections from political circles.
The allied PPP and PAT of Dr Tahir Qadri had also refused to join the protest rally.
Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan said the show of the “Danda Force” was the act of some emotional PML-N workers. The government would handle the rally dispassionately, allowing the PTI to use its democratic right of protest.
Nevertheless, he expected the PTI leadership to sit with the administration to decide the route of the rally and its culmination point, and abide by the security plan necessary in view of terrorism threats.
“This is going to be another Imran Khan rally. At least we will make it so,” he said.