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To Avoid the ‘Trap’, Imran Reschedules his Rally

Imran Khan postpones election rally amidst controversy over section 144 in Lahore

After the interim Punjab government implemented Section 144, which prohibits public gatherings, in the provincial capital, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan postponed the party’s election rally until the following day.

The party was unable to appeal the order to the Lahore High Court or the Election Commission. The PTI had initially planned to hold the rally, but Khan dissuaded them by warning them not to fall for the legal ruse.

Khan claimed on Twitter that the Punjab chief minister and police wanted to incite clashes so they could file more false First Information Reports (FIRs) against PTI leaders and supporters and use that as a justification for delaying the elections.

However, given that the election schedule had already been made public, he questioned how Section 144 could be applied to political activities.

Mohsin Naqvi, the acting chief minister, tweeted that all political parties were free to run for office and that there was no ban on political activity. However, he claimed that political gatherings and other similar events were prohibited on that day because of scheduled activities in Lahore, such as a cricket game and a marathon.

The government gave the PTI permission to hold the rally on Sunday, noting that it poses a “high security risk” because of “general and specific threats against political gatherings and prior instances of attack on the ex-prime minister.”

PTI supporters flocked to Zaman Park, the rally’s starting point, despite the postponement. Khan posted a video of party members and supporters swarming the scene on Twitter and declared that he could not allow any harm to his employees, the general public, or the police in order for the interim administration to file more formal complaints against them and come up with an excuse to avoid the elections.

Following a late-night meeting on Saturday, the PTI leadership decided that the party would not break any laws and could postpone the rally in light of Section 144. Khan gave his party members the responsibility of protesting the unlawful activity at the ECP and LHC forums in order to obtain redress.

Khan said in his speech on Saturday that the incumbent leaders were afraid of losing their positions and could use any strategy, such as a bombing or a high-profile murder, to justify declaring an emergency in the nation. He claimed that by exercising restraint, he was thwarting all such plans.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, vice chair of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party and Fawad Chaudhry, senior vice president of the party, had informed media persons earlier in the day that the interim government was determined to disrupt law and order in Lahore.

According to Qureshi, the PTI senior leaders meeting decided that the party officials and workers would maintain their composure and refrain from taking part in any violent activity. The vice-chairman declared, “The government wants a clash, not elections.

He claimed that while Dr. Yasmin Rashid, the president of PTI Central Punjab, had arrived at the ECP Punjab office to protest the imposition of Section 144, they had approached the LHC. Qureshi urged the LHC Chief Justice to hear PTI’s claim that the party rally had already been moved to the northern side of Lahore in order to avoid interfering with the marathon and cricket match.

The PTI petition was being heard in court, and Fawad Chaudhry urged the LHC CJ to do so because “the Constitution of Pakistan was in danger.” He argued that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) convention did not contain a Section 144 and questioned whether there would be only one party running in the elections.

The interim chief minister, according to PTI Central Punjab President Dr. Yasmin Rashid, was “two-faced,” saying there was no ban on political activity in a “apologetic tweet,” but he made sure the PTI could not hold its planned rally by closing all the roads leading to Zaman Park.

Written by Imad Khan

Imad Khan has the skills and experience to deliver top-notch content that informs, engages, and inspires. He oftens explores nature in his free time.