RAWALPINDI: Both the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the PML-N government are making plans for Nov 2 with the PTI asking workers to prepare for a three-day sit-in while the Special Branch of the police has given the government lists of people to arrest before the party lays siege to Islamabad.
The PTI told workers of the plans for the protest after a meeting chaired by Imran Khan on Monday night.
“Local leaders have been informed that all six roads will be closed on Nov 2. The I.J. Principle Road will be closed at CDA stop, G.T. Road at Rewat T-Chowk, Kashmir Highway at Golra Mor and Murree Road at Bhara Kahu,” a senior party leader told Dawn.
He said the Islamabad Expressway would be closed at Khanna Bridge and that the area between Faizabad and Zero Point would be used as the main sit-in site.
“This plan will be implemented if the government stops party workers and supporters from entering Islamabad. The protest has been planned for three days but the tables will be turned before Nov 4,” he said.
Govt prepares list of people to arrest ahead of protest, PTI informs workers of alternative sit-in locations
The politician said the party had asked local leaders to make food arrangements for participants of the sit-in at four points. He explained that two groups would coordinate with the district management committee for the arrangements with one group looking after food and the second ensuring workers are present at the site.
“PTI leader from Sialkot Usman Dar and Lahore MPA Shoaib Siddiqui visited the various routes on Monday morning in order to ascertain if they were suitable for the protest,” he said.
The PTI leader added that party leaders in Lahore would finance the event and that workers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Rawalpindi and Islamabad would close all roads. Workers from across the province have started arriving in the twin cities and some 350 houses have been arranged for accommodating them, he said.
On the other hand, the Special Branch has submitted three lists of 450 PTI activists in the district to the local administration and the federal government.
“The police will arrest the workers named in List A and List B, which are of PTI office-bearers and List C which includes public representatives, under the Maintenance of Public Order, in accordance with the directives of the district coordination officer,” a senior official of the City District Government Rawalpindi told Dawn.
He said the plan would be implemented after the Nov 1 hearing of the Supreme Court. The official added that the government wanted to resolve the issue via politics and had not yet asked the police to implement the plan, only to prepare ahead.
“The government does not want the PTI to have time to seek relief from the high court as the PTI has already formed a committee of lawyers for the purpose,” he added.
“A 20-member committee of lawyers has been formed which is led by Farrakh Dar and they have prepared to get party workers and leaders out in case of arrest via the courts,” said PTI Punjab North President Amir Kiani.
Talking to Dawn, Mr Kiani said the party wanted more and more people to come to Islamabad in order to pressure the “corrupt” government to step down, adding that the police will not be able to take action against party workers and leaders in the presence of thousands of supporters.
Meanwhile, former PML-N MNA Malik Shakil Awan said the ruling party would be patient and not resort to action unless someone tries to take the law in their hands.
“The PTI wants destruction and the PML-N wants development. The government is drafting strategies for dealing with the issue and will not allow for problems to be created for the government officials and residents of Islamabad and Rawalpindi,” he said.
Mr Awan added that the interior minister will be coming up with a strategy for maintaining law and order in the twin cities so that schools, hospitals and offices can remain open.