Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is going to hold a siege around the federal capital without paralysing the routine life in the federal capital with the party workers blocking the three major arteries linking Islamabad with the rest of the country, while others seizing the Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA), Rawalpindi Railway Station and the bus stations in twin cities, compelling Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to either resign or give in to form a powerful judicial commission to probe Panama Leaks allegations, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably.
PTI’s top leadership is going to meet in the federal capital today (Sunday) to give final touches to its Islamabad lockdown strategy with Imran Khan in the chair. PTI chairman had announced November 2 as the date for the Islamabad lockdown plan. However, Imran Khan is likely to announce a new date today for the lockdown due to reasons not yet known.
EACH LAWMAKER TO BRING THOUSANDS OF PARTY WORKERS
Well-placed sources in the PTI have informed this scribe that the PTI’s planning was “very ambitious” and the party leaders, lawmakers and ministers have been directed to ensure bringing millions of party activists to the federal capital.
Asad Umar, being the party’s only lawmaker from NA-48 of the federal capital, would be playing a key role in organising the protest rally. Umar, known to be a very good organiser and a planner, would be overlooking all key matters – from boarding, lodging, uninterrupted food supplies and other arrangements for the party workers coming from other cities and provinces.
Punjab has always served as the backbone for PTI’s protest rallies in the past. However, this time around, the party is largely banking on the party’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) chapter to provide a maximum number of party workers for the siege.
The party leaders look considerably confident and they believe the party had learnt its lessons over the years.
“We have now learnt how to organise and sustain our agitation plan. We have proved it in the Raiwind march and we would prove it again,” one of PTI’s charged leaders said.
“We know that Punjab Police would be misused to foil PTI’s lockdown plan. So we are counting more on KP as compared to other provinces. Since KP is our power base, we plan to mobilise around one million people from KP,” a PTI lawmaker from KP said.
He said that each lawmaker plans to bring around at least five lakh people along.
“We are planning to move together. On 2 November, the Peshawar-Islamabad motorway would write a new history,” the lawmaker roared.
For Punjab and other provinces, the PTI leader said the party had planned that wherever the party workers would be arrested or stopped, they would hold siege and the roads would be blocked.
“All party leaders have been directed to hold siege wherever they are blocked. If they plan to foil Islamabad lockdown plan, we would lockdown entire Pakistan,” the party leader said.
ISLAMABAD LOCKDOWN PLAN
Though many things are yet to be finalised and details are being kept secret, Pakistan Today has been able to get sketchy details of the lockdown plan.
“Under the plan, the party workers would block the three arteries linking Islamabad with the rest of the country, including Kashmir Highway, Express Highway and Murree Road. The workers would not disturb the residents of the capital city and would remain present mostly on the outskirts of the city to make sure no one is allowed to break the siege,” the PTI leader said.
The party insider said that other than choking the main road, air and rail networks, the party workers would stay away from sensitive installations like the parliament, the television and radio channels, making sure that the people of the country would get a true picture of what was happening in the capital city on that day.
Another party leader said that the party workers would be assigned tasks to hold sieges around the BBIA, Rawalpindi Railway Station and the railway track along with the bus stations.
“No communication would be allowed to take place and the wheel movement would be jammed,” the source added.
“We don’t plan to take over the capital; we just want a sincere and judicious probe into the Panama Leaks allegations against the prime minister and his family members. Since all the state institutions have been unable to do so, we have decided to use our democratic right to protest and pressurise the regime to do it.
DISSENTING VOICE BEING HEARD TOO
A few PTI leaders believe that some party leaders have opposed the Islamabad lockdown plan and rather they have asked Imran Khan to review his plan of action, which may turn violent anytime.
Abdul Qayyum Khan Kundi, one of PTI’s ideological group members and a critic of the lockdown plan, said that the party leadership needed to review the plan which can only damage the country at this critical juncture.
“I, along with many party leaders, support the idea to ensure effective accountability of the ruling party but we should not allow them to play victimhood. PTI should make efforts and use constitutional means to hold Nawaz Sharif accountable. But this anarchist attitude would only harm the party,” he added.
PTI ALREADY REHEARSED AIRPORT SIEGE IN KARACHI
The party leader said that PTI had recently rehearsed the Islamabad lockdown plan in Karachi.
“Do you remember the recent siege by PTI workers led by Faisal Wavda in Karachi on the Shahrah-e-Faisal which choked the main entrance to the Karachi airport? This was actually the rehearsal of Islamabad lockdown plan,” another PTI leader privy to the details of the lockdown plan told this scribe.
Due to the siege of Shahrah-e-Faisal, the Sindh government had transferred some high-ranking police officials in the province recently, as the siege was the worst of its kind in the city. Later, PTI’s Sindh leadership had distanced itself from the siege and had claimed that it was a move by Wavda and it had nothing to do with the party.
PTI WANTS TO REMOVE MODI’S AGENT, SAYS CHOHAN
Talking to this scribe, PTI’s media advisor Fayazul Hassan Chohan confirmed that his party had planned to block the entrance points of the federal capital.
“We have hired around 350 houses for the party’s volunteers coming from other provinces and we would also ensure uninterrupted food supplies to the party volunteers,” he added.
“We are fighting to remove a prime minister who is an agent of Modi. He has business interests in India. Panama Leaks have exposed PM Sharif and we want an investigation against him,” he added.
Despite repeated efforts, PTI Information Secretary Naeemul Haq was not available for a comment.