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Govt decides not to disrupt long march

ISLAMABAD: The PML-N government has decided to invite all political parties, including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), to the Independence Day celebrations on August 14, it has been learnt. The move is aimed at diffusing the tension, as the PTI is set to launch a long march on August 14 against alleged rigging in the May 11, 2013 polls. PTI Chairman Imran Khan will be among several politicians who will be invited to the government’s Independence Day rally at D-Chowk in Islamabad on August 14. However, the PTI has announced to hold a “tsunami march” against alleged rigging at the same venue on the same day. Highly placed sources in the PM House said PM’s kitchen cabinet members are of the view that the government could not be toppled with sit-ins, protests or long marches. In a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday, all of his close aides were said to have agreed that the government would not create any hurdles to impede PTI’s long march. However, the PM directed the cabinet members to contact the PTI chief for “unification” and unity during the Independence Day celebrations. PM Nawaz Sharif is of the view that the political parties should avoid giving a message of division to the nation on Independence Day. In Tuesday’s meeting, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid informed the PM that the heads of PTI, Pakistan People’s Party, Jamaat-e-Islami, National Party (NP), Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, Awami National Party (ANP) and Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) are among the politicians who would be invited to the rally. 

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