LAHORE - Calling off the Azadi sit-ins in Punjab and other parts of the country, the PTI high command has directed the party leaders to reach Islamabad to show public strength as the ongoing sit-in is becoming thin with each passing day, The Nation has learnt.

Close aides of PTI chairman Imran Khan told this correspondent on Thursday that the party top leadership, following the political compulsions of thin presence at main Azadi sit-in in the federal capital, has called off the similar sit-ins in Punjab and other parts of the country, directing the party leaders to reach Islamabad to make it a success story.

Imran Khan got furious over the performance of party leaders including his parliamentarians and former ticket-holders for not bringing an impressive crowd to Islamabad, and conditionalised the award of party tickets with participation in the Islamabad show.

According to close aides of Imran, the provincial leaderships of the party have directed the party’s former ticket holders, parliamentarians and various party tiers to ensure participation along with workers of their respective areas in the Islamabad show as part time presence would not be accepted. The party’s provincial leaderships also conveyed them that Imran Khan would not award tickets to the parliamentarians who failed to ensure fulltime participation in the Azadi sit-in in the federal capital.

They told them that the party chairman had to face a highly embarrassing situation when the Azadi sit-in got the support of Inqilab sit-in to cover the serious gap of its poor crowd.

According to them, the party chairman had taken to task especially Lahore president Aleem Khan and his team for poorly failing to pose even a mediocre challenge to the PML-N during the Azadi sit-ins in the provincial capital. He (Imran) took serious notice of participation of only dozens of workers at the Governor House sit-in and Liberty Chowk. They added that the party chairman snubbing City chapter president in his container said that how he could challenge the PML-N in its stronghold when he (Aleem) made not a single effort to ensure his full time presence in the protest demonstrations.

Close aides of Imran informed that a committee would be formed to probe into the allegations of some party leaders’ connivance with the ruling party to ditch the Azadi March. They added the party top leadership has received some reports that some party leaders had joined hands with the ruling party to tip off the plans of the Azadi March in return of some personal benefits.

According to them, it was planned that the PTI would enter in Rawalpindi with more than hundred and fifty thousand marchers but Imran was extremely worried when the Azadi March reached near Rawalpindi with few thousand marchers.