The much-awaited PTI long march has finally begun. PTI Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan is leading a huge crowd of supporters from Lahore’s Liberty Chowk and marching toward Islamabad in a bid to force the government to announce early elections.
Videos of impressive scenes from Lahore are going viral on social media. In the videos, Imran Khan along with senior party leaders, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Fawad Chaudhry, Ali Zaidi, Shafqat Mahmood, Faisal Javed Khan, Sheikh Rasheed, Mian Mahmood ur Rasheed, Musarat Cheema, and other leaders can be seen on containers.
عمران خان صاحب کی قیادت میں #حقیقی_آزادی_مارچ کا لاہور لبرٹی دے آغاز ہوچکا ہے ابھی آغاز پر عوام کا ٹھاٹھیں مارتا ہوا سمندر ہے جیسے جیسے مارچ آگے بڑھے گا امپورٹڈ حکومت کی کانپیں بھی تیزی سے ٹانگیں گی pic.twitter.com/SDN0MXGrwY
— Farrukh Habib (@FarrukhHabibISF) October 28, 2022
Addressing the participants before heading towards Islamabad, Imran Khan said the time has come to start the journey for haqiqi azadi (real freedom). The motive of the march is not personal or political but to free the nation from slavery, the former premier maintained.
He also said that decisions regarding Pakistan should be taken here not in Washington. No one should direct Pakistan to join others’ wars. The people of the country are facing the worst inflation because thieves are ruling the country.
Imran Khan said the demand for fair and transparent elections in the country is not an unconditional demand.
Read more: Govt. gears up to stop PTI’s long march
— PTI (@PTIofficial) October 28, 2022
Islamabad’s security plan
Meanwhile, Islamabad’s security plan was finalized ahead of the long march. A thorough strategy has been developed to keep the federal capital peaceful and safeguard locals’ lives and possessions throughout the PTI’s long march.
Under the plan, the police, Rangers and Frontier Constabulary have been deployed in and around the federal capital. Over 13,000 personnel of the Islamabad Police, including 4,199 officials, 1,022 personnel from Sindh, 4,265 FC, and 3,600 Rangers would protect the city. As per the plan, two DIGs would command the force, while four SSPs, 11 SPs, 30 ASPs/DSPs, 60 inspectors and 304 upper subordinates would be part of the fighting force.
In order to maintain law and order in the city, 616 teargas guns, 50,050 teargas shells, 611 guns of 12 bore, 36,700 rounds of 12 bore, 2,430 masks, 374 vehicles, 17 paper ball guns, 4,000 paper balls, 15,000 spray paints and 16 megaphones have been arranged.
If the mob managed to get past the security barriers and into the Red Zone, a state of emergency would be declared. In that case, drastic measures would be taken to repress the demonstrators.