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PTI changes venue for Sialkot rally, shifts to VIP ground

The move was announced after the Christain community lodged a protest against the party’s decision to hold the Jalsa in the CTI ground - a property of the Christian community of Sialkot.

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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on Saturday announced to change the venue of its Jalsa from CTI ground to VIP ground, Sialkot. The move was announced after the Christain community lodged a protest against the party’s decision to hold the Jalsa in the CTI ground – a property of the Christian community of Sialkot. The Christian community argued that the PTI had announced to hold a protest on their property without getting prior consent from the community.

After the initial protests by the Christian community, the newly elected chief minister of Punjab, Hamza Shehbaz, said that the government cannot allow PTI to hold the Jalsa at CTI ground. Separately Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ataullah Tarar also maintained the same stance and asked Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf to hold the Jalsa in Sialkot Stadium instead.

Read more: Imran Khan vows to hold Sialkot rally no matter what

PTI’s announcement to change the venue was met with a lot of appreciation, with many terming it an “admirable step” by the party leadership. One Twitter user commented that “Khan Sahib even today thinks like the Prime Minister of the people, the immediate change of venue is a proof that he values the feelings of his Christian community”. However, the user maintained that the Christian community was being used by the state.

After the last-minute change of venue, Chairman PTI took to Twitter to reassure his supporters that he would hold the Sialkot Jalsa no matter what. “I will be going to Sialkot today, let there be no doubt,” Imran Khan warned. “What the imported government did in Sialkot against our leadership and workers is outrageous but not unexpected,” the chairman added.

Police arrests PTI workers

It is pertinent to mention that earlier today, a heavy contingent of police reached the venue and cordoned off the ground to stop preparations. Police began to overthrow the ground with heavy machinery at the PTI gathering.

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However, PTI workers resisted when the goods were removed. On this occasion, PTI leader Usman Dar along with his workers, lay down in front of the machinery. He said that this machinery would pass over us. As a result, a clash broke out. The police began using force. They fired tear gas to disperse the workers and arrested Usman Dar, along with 40 PTI workers.