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PTI power show in Lahore: Khan tells supporters to ‘wait for my call’ for Islamabad

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan, during his party’s power show at Minar-i-Pakistan in Lahore on Thursday, indicated that his next stop will be in the national capital as he urged his supporters and party workers to “wait for my call.”

Towards the end of his speech that lasted more than an hour, Khan said that if his rivals were wondering what would happen after the Lahore rally, “my message to them is that the real party has only just started.”

“I’m not giving a call just to the PTI but all of Pakistan. You all have to prepare in the streets, cities and villages. You have to wait for my call when I call you all to Islamabad. I want to make it clear that I don’t want a confrontation,” he said.

“We do not want to hurt our country but we won’t accept this imported government in any way. This movement will gain momentum,” Khan added as he reiterated his demand for fresh elections “as soon as possible.

“I challenge that if you dare then listen to our cases collectively so all of the nation knows who really collected money through proper channels and who does it through illicit means.”

PTI accuses govt of blocking routes, disrupting Internet

Earlier, party leaders Shireen Mazari and Faisal Javed accused the government of blocking routes leading to Minar-i-Pakistan in an attempt to impede the rally.

“First blocking all the roads leading to Minar-i-Pakistan, and now shutting off internet service!” Mazari tweeted. ” … imported govt & desperate crime minister (Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif) think they can stop the nation from rising against this criminal mafia of an imported govt!”

PTI Senator Faisal Javed, while addressing the rally, said reports were being received that routes were being blocked to stop people from reaching the rally site. He called on the administration to unblock routes and warned them not to obstruct the public.

“Don’t stop them otherwise the people will themselves reach here and remove all obstacles. Remove all obstacles before people do so themselves.”

Internet services have also been reportedly disrupted in the vicinity of the rally site.

The preparations for the rally began in earnest on Wednesday as PTI leaders brought out rallies from different parts of the city in the run-up to the demonstration.

Former Punjab health minister and senior PTI leader Dr Yasmin Rashid, while speaking to Dawn, had said the PTI’s main slogan for the ‘historic gathering’ would be that the nation would not allow any foreign power to dictate its policies in Pakistan

She had said a huge stage had been set up at the Minar-i-Pakistan ground and Imran would address the historic gathering that would touch the magic number of one million.

PTI Punjab information secretary Mussarat Jamshed Cheema said the stage had been made ready and there were segregated female and families’ enclosures.

PTI leaders and people had thronged the venue of the public meeting on Wednesday night for a ‘full dress rehearsal’ for the main show.

Meanwhile, the Lahore deputy commissioner had written a letter to PTI’s Punjab and Lahore leaders, stating that severe threat alerts had been received from security agencies, and suggested that Imran address the public gathering virtually instead of making a physical appearance at Greater Iqbal Park.

The PTI chairman himself responded at a Twitter space that he would physically attend the ‘Lahore jalsa’ and address the nation. He also said a record crowd would attend the gathering.

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