Convoys of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders, workers and supporters are heading towards Rawalpindi for the ‘climax’ of the Haqeeqi Azadi march, where party chief Imran Khan is set to appear despite bullet injuries he sustained in an assassination bid in Wazirabad.
PTI Secretary General Asad Umar announced that several convoys from all over Pakistan had reached the garrison city, while other groups were making their way to the twin city of capital Islamabad.
He maintained that the gathering would be “historic”.
Meanwhile, the PTI has tweeted a message from Imran Khan that “I am going to Rawalpindi despite threats to my life for the sake of the nation.”
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, PTI workers left for the rally from the Peshawar Motorway Toll Plaza, with representation of Khyber and Mohmand.
A convoy led by PTI K-P president Pervez Khattak and former governor Shah Farman reached the Charsada Toll Plaza and began moving towards Nowshera.
From Gujranwala, Hammad Azhar is leading a group of workers to Rawalpindi from the Chanda Da Qila.
Humayun Akhtar Khan is leading caravans from Lahore, while a “grand caravan” led by member of the Punjab Assembly Ifthikhar Ali Mashwani departed from Ring Road towards the garrison city, while Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas is leading a convoy from Garden Town Lahore.
A video on the PTI’s official Twitter handle shows vehicles with attached flags and Raas emerging from his vehicle’s sunroof.
Chief Minister of Gilgit Baltistan Khalid Khurshid Khan’s convoy entered Rawalpindi earlier in the day.
The PTI supporters who reached the venue were served breakfast, with the food provided by the party leadership.
Former interior minister Sheikh Rashid took to his official Twitter handle to state that there will be a “sea of people and a referendum” in his hometown Rawalpindi.
“The people will be in favour of elections and getting rid of the incumbent government. The PDM (Pakistan Democratic Movement) is running away from elections,” he said, adding that the destruction of the economy was a threat to national security.
He said that he will leave his Lal Haveli residence along with Rashid Shafiq to participate in the “real freedom march”.
PERMISSION GRANTED: The PTI on Friday was allowed by the Rawalpindi administration on a 56-point permit to stage its sit-in near Faizabad on Saturday (today), despite the looming security threats.
Separately, PTI leader Asad Umar claimed that attempts were being made to disrupt the party’s “peaceful” rally in Rawalpindi and the life of party chairman and deposed premier Imran Khan was in danger as the Islamabad administration was not allowing him to reach the venue in a helicopter.
The Rawalpindi administration issued a notification that read that the England cricket team would soon arrive in Rawalpindi, therefore the venue should be completely vacated after the rally was over.
Orders had been issued to the Rawalpindi police to take all necessary security measures for the rally, it added.