Azadi March Updates
PML-Q leader Pervaiz Elahi said in a press conference early on Thursday that if the government tries to stop their march, they have their own contingency plan.
He added that both ‘Azadi’ march and ‘Inquilab’ march will march in unison.
After receiving reports from intelligence agencies that multiple militant groups would target the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) marches, government has started devising a security plan.
According to intelligence reports, militants intend to infiltrate and target the leaderships of both protest marches.
The high ups of Islamabad and Punjab Police have contacted the organizers of ‘Azadi’ march and seek their help regarding the security of the rally.
Meanwhile no contact has been made with the PAT’s leadership regarding the security of their march so far.
Purpose of march is to force army to seize power as last resort: Iqbal
Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal has said that PTI chief Imran Khan, along with the Chaudhrys and Tahirul Qadri, is conspiring to create a situation wherein the army will have no choice but to take over.
In an interview with the BBC, Iqbal said that the fact that this confrontation started 14 months after the May 11, 2013, general elections, reeks of a conspiracy.
“Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri are both part of this conspiracy to, firstly, create unrest in the country and pave way for an undemocratic solution; and second, to undermine the progress this government has made in the past 14 months.”
Asked who else could be involved in this conspiracy, Iqbal said former president Pervez Musharraf’s ‘friends’ are also involved in it, who intend to put pressure on the government to let Musharraf off the hook.
PTI chief Imran Khan addressing party members near his Zaman Prk residence in Lahore tells IG police to comply with the order from the Lahore High Court. “You [police] should not attack any PTI member and remove these containers. Remove them lest we have to remove them.”
We have decided that we will get Pakistan real freedom and end Sharif-dom. We will make this Quaid-e-Azam’s Pakistan.
“When you said you will form a commission. Please explain to me, ever since the Hamoodur Rehman Commission, which commission has made a difference?”
He announced that Javed Hashmi has rejoined the march and will be leading it all the way to Islamabad.
Referring to Nawaz’s offer of forming a judicial commission, Imran said that what will the commission achieve. ”Lately, a commission was formed in Lahore. And the result of that commission was that Gullu Butt was released.”
“The commission will be formed once Nawaz Sharif resigns.”
Upon reaching Islamabad, Imran said that they will present their demands of a non-political caretaker government.
“We will demand that the prime minister should resign. After that, not a technocratic, but a non-political government, that is a neutral government will be formed. Those who stole the mandate will be punished and then the first free, fair and transparent elections since 1970 will be held.”
PTA has directed cellular service providers to suspend services in Islamabad from 11pm on Wednesday for an undeclared period of time, Baaghi TV reported.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said on Wednesday that the marches have nothing to do with the army referring to PTI’s ‘Azadi’ march and PAT’s ‘Inqilab’ march to the federal capital on August 14.
Javed Hashmi has set aside differences and has agreed to lead the PTI ‘Azadi’ march , Baaghi TV reported.
He is expected to leave Multan for Lahore soon.
“Imran Khan has spoken to Javed Hashmi himself for about half an hour, and the PTI chief clarified the matter,” says Arif Alvi, general secretary PTI, a statement Hashmi himself mirrored.
Alvi also said that three-member PTI delegation went to meet Hashmi and succeeded in convincing the latter to change his mind.
MNA Jamshed Dasti has also joined PTI’s march.
‘Azadi’ march will leave for Islamabad at 10am tomorrow, says Imran Khan, according to Baaghi TV Imran Khan will make special announcement before leaving for Azadi March..
Army Chief General Raheel Sharif has held a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday evening, Baaghi TV reported.
Jamiat-e-Ulema-Islami Fazl (JUI-F) condemned Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s call for a strike for the August 14 ‘Azadi’ march, terming it ‘unconstitutional’
The PM House spokesperson strongly denied any meeting or call of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI)’s Ameer Sirjaul Haq with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday.
Further, the policy decision on allowing the ‘Azadi’ march will be taken by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar.
A full bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) has stopped Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from holding an “unconstitutional long march” or any “unconstitutional sit-in”, according to our correspondent Rana Tanveer in Lahore.
During the proceeding of the case, the court was of the view that PTI’s demand for the resignation of the prime minister is unconstitutional.
Thus, the court ruled that PTI can hold marches and give sit-ins as long as it withdraws its demand for the prime minister’s
PTI lawyer says LHC has told PTI not to hold any dherna in illegal manner, legal dhernas are fine.
The Lahore High Court have stopped PTI from any protest or march conducted in an “unconstitutional” manner, Baaghi TV reported.
Javed Hashmi is not going to participate in the ‘Azadi’ march, family sources confirmed.
Further, Khawaja Saad Rafique has reportedly been tasked to lure Hashmi back to the PML-N.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar in an important meeting to discuss and review the ‘Azadi’ march situation, Baaghi TV reported.
They also discussed the possible removal of containers in Islamabad.
“Containers should immediately be removed from twin cities,” says Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain, Baaghi TV reported.
A Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) delegation has left to hold meetings with PTI chief Imran Khan.
The delegation is a last ditch attempt to defuse the crisis. The PPP will present its recommendations to Imran Khan. The PPP delegation, which comprises members of a committee formed by Zardari on Tuesday, will also hold meetings with JI’s Sirajul Haq and PML-Q’s Chaudhry Shujaat.
The meetings are scheduled to take place in Lahore, our correspondent in Islamabad, Irfan Ghauri, tells us.
PTI central information secretary Shireen Mazari has said that the PTI march will leave for Islamabad at 12am tonight, Baaghi TV reported.
Further, Mazari said that the party did not have any differences with PTI president Javed Hashmi, only minor misunderstandings.
“The police should be loyal to the state and not the government,” Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar has said, Baahi Tv reported.
Refuting rumours of intra-party rifts, PTI president Javed Hashmi has said that he came back to his house in Multan to consult with his friends regarding the long march.
Talking to the media, Hashmi said that PTI chairperson Imran Khan called him to join the ‘Azadi’ march, adding that he will make his decision after consultation with his well-wishers.
PTI chairman Imran Khan has called PTI president Javed Hashmi to request him to join their ‘Azadi’ march.
According to Baaghi TV News, Imran reiterated that their march is going to remain within democratic parameters and added that since Hashmi is a true democrat his presence is integral for the march. Last night, it was rumoured that Hashmi left for Multan owing to intra-party rifts.
Earlier, PTI leaders including Arif Alvi and Mehmoodur Rasheed left for Multan to convince Hashmi to participate in the march with them.
The government has written a letter to the Supreme Court registrar to constitute a three-member judicial commission to probe rigging allegations during the May 2013 elections as requested by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his address last night, Baaghi TV reported.
The judicial commission will complete its proceedings within three months
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has dismissed the possibility of a military intervention in light of PTI’s ‘Azadi’ march and PAT’s ‘Inqilabi’ march to the federal capital on August 14 to overthrow the incumbent government.
The defence minister said that the government and military have complete consensus and agreement on foreign policy and he does not “see any possibility of a military intervention”.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has denied rumours of contact with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
“PTI does not believe in back door politics,” he said.
Baaghi TV has reported that the Lahore High Court (LHC) will announce its verdict in regard to stopping the ‘Azadi’ march at 6pm.
PAT’s ‘Inqilab’ march will leave Model Town, Lahore, for Islamabad at 10am on August 14, Baaghi TV reported.
The chief justice of Pakistan has constituted a five-member bench to hear a plea of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), seeking a declaration that any extra constitutional steps should be restrained in light of the present situation of the country.
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Ameer Sirajul Haq, while addressing the media in Lahore, said the government should allow the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) rally to arrive in Islamabad peacefully, adding that the government should lift the containers.
The JI chief spoke with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and his team yesterday (Tuesday), and gave them a clear message that their struggle is solely for democracy and the betterment of the country.
Haq also expressed appreciation for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s address to the nation yesterday, insisting that the prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan should resolve these issues with the use of dialogue.
Taking an emotional turn, Haq said, “it would be nice if the entire country – the government and the opposition – could celebrate this day of independence together.”
PTI lawyer Ahmed Awais during a hearing at the LHC explained that PTI members are “peaceful protesters” and will not disrupt the peace of the city.
The lawyer made these arguments during the hearing of a government petition against holding the Azadi March.
The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday ordered the removal of containers throughout Punjab, Baaghi TV reported.
During a hearing of a case against the arrest of PTI and PAT supporters, a full bench of the high court – headed by Justice Mahmood Ahmad Bhatti – told the government it will not allow violation of anyone’s rights in the name of security.
Thirty workers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and 15 workers of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) were arrested from Faisalabad on Wednesday, Baaghi TV reported.
PTI workers were also reportedly arrested from others areas of Punjab including 10 from Bhakkar, 17 from Khanewal, at least 30 from Chichawatni and eight from Pakpattan.
As the Red Zone was sealed in an effort to block the entry of the August 14 protesters, respondents for cases heard by Supreme Court failed to reach court on Wednesday, Baaghi TV reported.
Therefore, the apex court adjourned 28 out of the 31 cases without any hearing today.
Criticising the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran for rejecting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s offer of setting up judicial commission to investigate into the rigging allegations, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that rejecting such offer reflect Imran’s ‘undemocratic attitude’.
Shabaz said that undemocratic reaction of Imran Khan has left many questions.
Terming PTI chief’s demand of resignation from an elected Prime Minister as unconstitutional and unlawful, Shahbaz said, “people have given mandate to PML-N and we will honour it at any cost.”
The chief minister further said that no one would be allowed to hijack public mandate.
Welcoming the announcement of judicial commission, leader of the opposition in national assembly Khursheed Shah said that the government was forced to form the commission due to Imran Khan’s protest.
We hope that PTI would accept the government’s offer otherwise it would weaken their case, said Shah.
Rejecting the judicial commission proposed by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his speech earlier, PTI chief said that the commission would only be accepted after the PM resigns.
Imran says that PTI would march to Islamabad on August 14, no matter what, and that the government should not put up obstacles in their path and let them protest peacefully, present their demands.
Addressing the nation on Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, “We request the Supreme Court chief justice to form a three-member commission to probe allegations of rigging and present their findings.”
Inaugurating the Qainchi Flyover in Lahore, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said the nation would reject politics of agitation, Baaghi TV reported.
Claiming that the ongoing marches and revolutions are aimed at creating hurdles in the country’s development, Shahbaz said the nation would reject all such protests on Independence Day.
Phone services have been suspended in certain areas of Islamabad.
Led by PTI’s chairman Imran Khan, PTI has officially begun the ‘Azadi’ march, Baaghi TV reported.
The rally is headed to Data Darbar, where Imran will pray for the success of his march.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek have agreed on four points regarding their respective protest marches to the capital city on August 14.
Elaborating on the points, the PTI leader said that the marches would be held in a democratic manner; they will remain within the legal and constitutional parametres and will be non-violent. Further, he added that neither the PTI nor the PAT want to derail democracy and they “will not accept the imposition of martial law”.
Frontier Constabulary has been deployed in Islamabad, Baaghi TV reported.
Containers blocking Jinnah Hospital and Model Town blocks H and J in Lahore are still in place, despite LHC orders for their removal, Baaghi TV reported.
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq said on Tuesday that he and his party are trying to resolve issues between the PTI and the government through dialogue.
Talking to the media after a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Haq said that he wants to steer the country out of the current political crisis.
“The sole objective of our efforts is to save the country,” he said, adding that he supports electoral reforms.current political crisis.
The Lahore High Court (LHC) approved the removal of containers from Model Town, as well as containers near Jinnah Hospital, Baaghi TV reported.
Baaghi TV News correspondent Muhammad Haroon said a government-appointed lawyer and DIG operations were asked to collectively resolve the matter pertaining to the removal of the containers, after which Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawyer Ahmed Awais and DIG operations gave a statement for the removal of the containers from Model Town H and J blocks, and Jinnah hospital.
Check-points will replace the removed containers, while those containers deemed necessary will remain in place.
Earlier, the LHC also ordered the Punjab police to avoid harassing PTI workers.
Just 15 minutes before the scheduled time, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar has cancelled his press conference meant to be held at 5pm today.
He was expected to address the current political situation of the country. No reason has been given for the cancellation and it is likely to be held tomorrow.
Inviting delegates of all political parties and human rights organisations based in Pakistan to monitor his rally, PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri said he would call off his ‘Inqilabi’ march if any weapons are found on his supporters.
Rejecting allegations of provocation and giving his workers the ‘licence’ to kill, Qadri said his supporters would not spread violence.
Further, the PAT chief thanked MQM chief Altaf Hussain for overcoming obstacles and sending food and water supplies for his supporters as well as setting up a medical camp for them.
The National Assembly unanimously passed on Tuesday a resolution calling for safeguarding and strengthening democracy.
The resolution, moved by Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, stated that the country’s defence and development are linked with democracy and should be safeguarded.
The Punjab government has set up containers to seal off the province’s border with Sindh in an attempt to prevent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) convoys from entering Punjab from Sukkur, Baaghi TV reported.
An MQM delegation, carrying food and water for PAT workers at the Minhajul Quran, were stopped by the police at Faisal Town chowk in Lahore, Baaghi TV reported.
Clarifying the agenda of PAT’s ‘Inqilabi’ march, Awami Muslim League chief Shiekh Rasheed Ahmad said on Tuesday that their only agenda is to overthrow the incumbent government.
“We do not want to derail democracy, we only want to end Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s rule.”
Talking to the media in Lahore, Rasheed said that the government has decided to arrest PAT and PTI leaders and the police will crackdown tonight and tomorrow night.
“Even if the leaders are arrested, the public should still step out,” he added.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek have formed a six-member committee to chalk out a strategy for their August 14 anti-government demonstrations in Islamabad.
The committee will devise a plan and discuss it with party chiefs before finalising it.
According to Baaghi TV sources, PAT has suggested to merge both the rallies and set up only one stage for speeches by PTI and PAT leaders.
Condemning the arrests of party workers, PTI leader Arif Alvi told media in Lahore that thousands of workers have been taken into custody.
“The situation will worsen if peaceful protesters are bothered,” he added.
Punjab police has again sealed all routes leading to Model town early Tuesday, Baaghi TV reported. Around 40 more containers have been moved to Model town by the punjab police to seal the routes. The Babu sabu interchange and routes to motorway from Lahore have also been sealed. Traffic inbound to model town will be checked at eight security check points where women police officials have already been deployed.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will address the nation today, Baaghi TV reported.
The premier is expected to discuss the current political crisis in light of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s ‘Azadi’ march and Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s ‘Inqilabi’ march.
August 11, 4:36pm
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairperson Imran Khan on Monday said former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, former interim Punjab chief minister Najam Sethi and Justice Ramday played key roles in rigging the May 2013 elections.
August 11, 3:36pm
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, PPP’s Khursheed Shah, said a ‘silent storm’ is moving towards the capital, while referring to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) ‘Azadi’ march and Tahirul Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) march, Baaghi TV reported.
August 11, 12:38pm
PTI Punjab President Ejaz Chaudhry, while speaking to media in Lahore on Monday, stated that his party will resist the government non-violently, adding that its agenda was peaceful.
Responding to a question regarding negotiations with the federal government, the party provincial president stated that PTI is currently busy with organising the Azadi march and therefore does not have time to talk at the moment.
“Negotiations will take place after the August 14 march,” he remarked.
August 11, 2:55am
The top decision-making body of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his government will be responsible, if democracy is derailed in Pakistan on August 14 – the day the party will stage a ‘million-man Azadi march’.
August 11, 1:00am
PTI chairperson Imran Khan has welcomed the decision of carrying out Inquilab march on the same day as Azadi march by Pakistan Awami tehreek (PAT) leader Tahirul Qadri, in a statement on Sunday night.
August 10, 5:45pm
PTI central information secretary Shireen Mazari said the government should immediately remove barriers from the Islamabad-Lahore motorway.
Further, Mazari said that the party core committee has decided that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will have to step down as PM. Echoing PTI chairperson Imran Khan’s earlier statement, Mazari said if democracy is derailed during the ‘Azadi’ march, it will be the government’s doing and not theirs.
August 10, 10:25am
Sources told BaaghiTV News that PTI chief Imran Khan on Sunday refused to meet Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq, saying the time for talks has passed.
The PML-N government had requested Siraj to bring Imran to the negotiating table and convince him to call off the Azadi March.
Imran and Siraj were earlier supposed to meet on August 9 after the National Security Conference, but, the PTI chief delayed the meeting for reasons not known till Sunday.
On Sunday, Imran said there was no point in meeting Siraj and that talks would only take place after the August 14 now.