Islamabad: Failure of the PTI leaders to mobilise enough protesters during the Azadi March in Islamabad has caused disappointment to former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. A Geo News journalist, Shahzeb Khanzada reveals that the ousted chairman expected that a large number of people would participate in the long march on their own as they did when Imran Khan was ousted through a no-confidence motion.
The root of Imran Khan’s anger stems from the fact that although in Punjab, PTI holds 83 National Assembly seats and 158 provincial assembly seats, voters participated only in Lahore and that too in low numbers, reported Geo News.
According to the PTI leaders, they were not provided with sufficient time by the former Prime Minister to prepare before the march to plan transportation and logistics. Although they requested Khan to extend the date for a few days, he refused as he thought that the Shehbaz Sharif government would plan on stopping the march.
Further, apart from supporters from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the PTI does not have enough supporters elsewhere who would brave the police, tear gas or extreme heat, in an effort to reach the federal capital, which caused the low participation, reported Geo News. In spite of trying to explain to the former Prime Minister that arriving in Islamabad without a fixed date would be a far more potent strategy and that it was not a good idea to go for a march without proper planning, Imran Khan turned a deaf ear to the requests.
Earlier, the ousted Prime Minister held a long protest march on May 25 against the present government, demanding the dissolution of the National Assembly and to conduct the next general election and invited people to join in large numbers. Khan after departing for Islamabad from the Wali Interchange in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday afternoon, asked “all Pakistanis” to take to the streets in their respective cities and appealed to women and children to come out of their homes for “real independence.
“The city turned into a battleground on Wednesday as multiple scuffles took place between the police and PTI marchers after Imran Khan and his convoy entered the city and started marching towards the D-Chowk despite the Supreme Court`s order to hold a rally at a ground between H9 and G9 areas of Islamabad.
To control the law and order situation in the federal capital, the Pakistan government deployed troops of the Pakistan army in the Red Zone to protect important government buildings including the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Parliament House, Presidency, Prime Minister’s Office and others.