Lahore is gearing up for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) planned long march towards Islamabad that will leave here in a couple of hours.

The Liberty roundabout, from where the long march will set off, is full of hoardings and banners. Different wings of the PTI have set up camps to facilitate the participants of the march.

Contrary to claims, the city life is running normally; there are no road blockades or containers around the Liberty Market, Ferozepur Road, The Mall and other roads leading towards Shahdara, the exit point of Lahore. However, many private schools have announced closure for the day.

‘March not to topple govt’

Earlier on Thursday, Imran Khan said that the PTI’s long march is not to topple any government.
In a video statement, the former PM said that the “real freedom march is starting from Liberty Chowk on Friday at 11 o’clock,” adding that this long march is not for any personal interest, and not to topple anyone’s government.

“PTI’s march is for true freedom after the freedom gained from the British because we want a country in which decisions are made by Pakistanis, not by foreign puppets,” he added.

Imran vowed that the PTI would continue to fight for real freedom until the doors of foreign conspiracies to get power are blocked.

Earlier, addressing the PTI social media team in Lahore, the former PM while exposing west hypocriscy on the Kashmir issue said that no one can speak against Israel in America because it is against their national interest, adding that millions of Kashmiris have been martyred, but west countries are unable to speak out on this issue.

“Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq hatched a foreign conspiracy to topple my government and through social media, showed every citizen what they did with the PTI government,” Imran said.

Islamabad police ordered not fire teargas directly

Islamabad police have issued instructions to its officers pertaining to the code of conduct during the PTI long march expected to reach the federal capital on November 4.

Officers deployed at the frontline will be wearing anti-riot gear whereas those without proper gear will be posted outside the reach of the protesters. Similarly, the police personnel deployed to counter the long march will not be armed with weapons and would only be allowed to carry batons.

They have been told to avoid the upper parts of the body when hitting protesters in case of baton charge and use their shields effectively in case of stone-pelting by the protesters.

According to the instructions, the SSP Headquarters will responsible to ensure the supply of anti-riot gears and logistic support to force deployed to control the law-and-order situation in light of the long march.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that thousands of long-range teargas shells available with the capital police can “seriously injure” people or in some cases even cause deaths if fired directly at protesters. The police officials have been told to avoid firing these shells at protests directly. The police have arranged 50,050 shells, half of them long-range, and 616 guns to shell protesters with teargas.

Moreover, instructions are also issued to SSP Headquarters to equip each Armed Personnel Carrier (APC) with 500 long-range teargas shells and 500 short-range teargas shells. The SSP has also been instructed that at least 100 handcuffs should be provided to each prison van.

The officials and officers are also asked to avoid talking over religious and political issues with each other, especially expressing their sentiments towards religious and political parties.

The supervisory officers and in-charges were told to make sure that all personnel wear anti-riot gear and that all the personnel should carry water bottles, handkerchiefs, and salt.

The police teams have also been told to arrange screwdrivers for rubber bullets guns in case empty cartridges get stuck in the chamber.

The director general of Safe City Authority was asked to issue drone cameras along with operators to 11 Superintendents of the Police whereas all supervisory officers and in-charges are asked to be equipped with video cameras to make videos of the protest.

SDPOs and SHOs are asked to maintain law and order and collect information from their respective jurisdiction respectively, as per the officials. The SSP Security is responsible for the security of sensitive installations, including the Diplomatic Enclave, Presidency, PM House, Foreign Office, Nadra Headquarters, State Bank of Pakistan, Parliament House, Parliament Lodges, Cabinet Blocks, Pak Secretariat, Judges Enclave, Ministers’ Colony, Supreme Court, PTV, Radio Pakistan, and Election Commission of Pakistan, the officers said.

The AIG Special Branch is asked to collect information and in this regard and deploy officials in plainclothes, they said, adding that the bomb disposal squad will also be tasked to scan sites of deployment.

Rangers Quick Response Force will perform duties at the second security layer, the officers said, adding that the QRF will act against illegal interference and take action in case of emergency situation. District administration is requested to arrange paramedical staff with ambulances, they added.

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