October 27, 2022
ISLAMABAD – PTI leader Asad Umar on Wednesday announced the itinerary of his party’s “Haqeeqi Azadi March” to Islamabad, slated to commence on October 28 (Friday) from Lahore’s Liberty Chowk.
The march’s commencement date was announced on Tuesday by former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan. “We will gather at Liberty Chowk at 11am on Friday, and set off for Islamabad,” he had said. “We will go to Islamabad treading GT (Grand Trunk) Road and occupy the point already allowed by the courts.
“We will stay peaceful. If any disruption comes, it would be from the other side, not ours. We are aiming for soft revolution. We are not going to Islamabad to create any mischief,” Imran assured, adding that despite all his peaceful intentions he was ready for arrest as well.
Revealing the protest schedule in a series of tweets today, Umar said that the march will begin on Friday from Lahore’s Liberty Chowk and move onto the Azadi Chowk via the Ferozepur Road through Ichhra, Mozang and Data Darbar.
“The journey to Islamabad will start on the GT road from the next day,” he tweeted.
Elaborating the plan ahead, the former minister said Imran and his supporters would reach the capital on November 4 after passing through Muridke, Kamonki, Gujranwala, Daska, Sialkot, Sambaryal, Wazirabad, Gujarat, Lala Musa, Kharian, Jhelum, Gujar Khan and Rawalpindi.
Separately, during an address to party workers in Sialkot later in the day, Imran said he would be accompanied by “convoys from across the country” while entering Islamabad. “It will be the biggest sea of people.”
He said that Friday’s march would be a “battle for power” and the “greatest freedom struggle in the history of Pakistan”.
Later in the day, he met Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi to discuss the arrangements for the upcoming march.
Meanwhile, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif alleged that the long march was not meant to bring about a revolution but to appoint the next army chief of Imran’s choosing.
“The people have seen his revolution in his four-year rule,” he said, adding that the PTI chief proved to be the “biggest thief in history with irrefutable evidence” after the foreign funding and Toshakhana references.
Islamabad police complete preparations for protest
Meanwhile, the Islamabad police have completed their preparation for the long march, according to a notice — a copy of which is available with Dawn.com — issued today.
The notice stated that a total of 13,086 officers, including two deputy inspector generals of police, four senior superintendents of police and 11 superintendents of police will be posted at the long march venue. Thirty assistant superintendents of police and deputy superintendents of police will also be posted.
Moreover, 4,265 Frontier Corps officers, 3,600 Rangers personnel and 1,022 policemen from the Sindh police will be on duty during the march.
The officers will be provided 616 tear gas guns, 50,050 shells, 611 twelve-bore guns and 36,700 rounds. Moreover, 2,430 masks and 374 vehicles will also be given to the police.
All police officers and personnel have been instructed to remained unarmed.
Earlier, Dawn reported that over 500 containers have been placed on a standby at 22 different spots of capital, including Margalla Hills to counter the PTI long march.
Officers of the capital police told Dawn that 1,100 containers had been arranged to seal the capital completely during the PTI’s long march and out of the total 525 containers have been placed at 22 different roadsides so far.
They further said that 140 containers had been placed at Convention Centre, followed by 95 at Faizabad, 40 at Srinagar Highway near Shakarparian, 39 at Srinagar Highway near metro station, 25 at IJP Road near I-8 turn, 22 at D Chowk, 20 each at Kak Bridge, Old Motorway Toll Plaza, 14 at Margalla Hills, 12 each at T-Cross Rawat, Sarena Chowk, Margalla Road, near Aga Khan Road, nine at Nadra Chowk, eight each at Express Chowk, Service Road near Nardra, near Rawal Lake, Satra Meel, six at 26 No Chongi, five at Khayaban Chowk, four each at Barri Imam, Zero Point, two at Banni Gala Road (Bara Kahu to Imran Khan residence).
Nadra Chowk have been sealed with containers, and three Quick Reponse Force (QRF) vehicles of Rangers are patrolling the area, they said, adding that D-Chowk has also been sealed with the containers and the razor wires.