Lahorites outnumbered by outsiders in PTI rally

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-PTI supporters from far-flung areas gather at Minar-e-Pakistan power show

-Local workers complain of not being invited properly

LAHORE: The outsiders outnumbered Lahorites in Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) ‘tsunami-plus rally’ on Sunday held at Minar-e-Pakistan, Pakistan Today observed.

It was expected earlier that from the massive publicity of the PTI in the city that the locals will outnumber the outsiders keeping in view the vote bank of the party in Punjab and its past record of holding mammoth public gatherings at the historical venue, but show of power was stolen by the outsiders on the stage and even in venue of the public gathering.

It was observed during the rally that the Lahorites did not take part in the rally wholeheartedly because of the thin presence of its workers in the public gathering.

Ali Raza, a vendor who was selling caps and flags inscribed with PTI’s logo said that he had been coming to the PTI rallies for the last six years, adding that the outsiders came to purchase material from him but locals were not much interested in buying even badges because of the “thin presence of Lahorities workers” in the rally.

Rehman Khan, a supporter from South Waziristan, said he wanted to see PTI Chairman Imran Khan as the next prime minister of Pakistan. “The sole purpose of my presence from the far-flung area is to strengthen Imran Khan’s support. All others are just looters be it the former premier Nawaz Sharif or ex-president and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.”

Rehman Azhar, another PTI supporter coming from Multan, said Imran Khan was the only ray of hope for the country. “It is only the PTI and Imran Khan who can rescue Pakistan. There should be no second opinion about it.”

He claimed that he had come on his own expense in the rally straight from the southern Punjab city.

A disgruntled PTI worker from Mughalpura seeking anonymity said PTI workers did not bother to come in their maximum numbers as every MPA and MNA had just marked his attendance by bringing only some workers.

“There is no doubt that PTI spent huge funds on publicity but local leadership did not honour the workers and did not properly invite them for the rally. I came here only for my love with Imran Khan.”

“NON-NATIVES ARE OUR GUESTS’:

On the other hand, PTI candidate for National Assembly seat NA-123 Mian Waheed Ahmed and Engineer Syed Yasir Gilani, candidate for Punjab Assembly seat PP-144, claimed that people from across the country were participating in large numbers in the rally. “No doubt, there is a huge rush of people from the rest of Pakistan. At the same time, people from Lahore are equally jubilant and participating in the rally,” Mian Waheed said.

Mian Waheed, who had set up a welcoming camp for PTI workers coming from Sialkot, Gujranwala, Mandi Bahauddin and other areas, said that he along with thousands of workers from Shahdara welcomed the workers. “A PTI worker from South Waziristan is as important as a worker from Lahore,” he added.

Waheed claimed that as many as 10,000 workers from his constituency were participating in the rally, adding that workers from every nook and corner of the city constituted an even larger number. “It gives great pleasure and pride that PTI workers and leaders from Lahore are treating the party workers from other cities as the guests,” he concluded.