PTI leaders caution govt ahead of protest rally, moot

* PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi says government will be responsible for agitation leading to anarchy if workers stopped from holding protest rally

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday cautioned that the government would be held responsible for any agitation or anarchy if demonstrators were stopped from participating in the May 11 Islamabad rally. Addressing a  press conference in Islamabad flanked by Secretary General Jahangir Tareen and Information Secretary Dr Shireen Mazari,  the PTI leader Qureshi said that democracy would be at the risk of being “derailed” if the government attempted to hold back PTI workers from taking part in the protest.PTI leader vowed that his party’s protest movement would continue until the realisation of justice. He said that all political parties had complained of rigging in the last general elections and the PTI had finally decided to launch campaign for the cause. Qureshi urged all Pakistanis to converge at Islamabad’s D-Chowk to help “build a new Pakistan”.He alleged that the police was harassing PTI workers in an attempt to stop the rally from taking place, and high handed tactics were being employed to stop workers were being stopped from participating in the protest meeting. The PTI, he asserted, would however continue its movement until ‘the system’ was completely reformed. PTI leader Dr Shireen Mazari said that the federal government was using the methods of dictatorship to stop their protest. She alleged that threats were being given to the people who were setting the protest camps in Rawalpindi.Hurdles, she added, were being created in the way of the party workers, coming to Islamabad from different parts of the country for the protest. Dr Mazari also claimed that the Punjab government was taking measures to stop people from attending the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) anti-rigging rally set to take place in Islamabad. The Islamabad city administration placed containers to cordon off the Red Zone of the city ahead of Sunday’s rally at Express Chowk and  all the four entry points of the Red Zone had been sealed, she added.Dr Mazari alleged that the Faisalabad administration had closed down all bus stands, preventing people from travelling to Islamabad for the rally. The decision was taken on Friday night in a meeting between traffic police and transporters. The administration reportedly advised transporters to halt bus services to Islamabad, Lahore and South Punjab and hence all bus stands have been closed since Saturday morning, the PTI leader complained.The PTI leader further claimed that she has received reports from Multan, Sargodha, Silakot, Mandi Bahauddin and Lahore regarding police pressurising bus drivers not to take PTI supporters to the rally. According to her, obstacles were being created, pressure was being used and threats were being made to stop party workers and supporters from attending the rally. “Our workers in Rawalpindi have been threatened by the police,” she said. “Police and Intelligence Bureau are going to workers’ houses and harassing them,” she continued. However, despite these hindrances, Mazari was confident that workers would throng the rally. “Our workers believe in our cause, and they will reach no matter what,” she said. The PTI leader said that the party workers would stage a protest, wherever the government will try to stop their caravans.

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