LAHORE - Maintaining that country is passing through a critical situation, PML-N central leader and Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique has requested Imran Khan to change the schedule and place of the PTI’s proposed long-long march on August 14.

“PTI should refrain from turning Independence Day into a protest day when Pakistan Army is fighting against terrorists. It is time for national unity,” held Saad Rafique while addressing a press conference at Lahore Press Club here on Sunday.

Every political party has had enough time to pursue its political agenda other than the day of August 14, he said, adding that the PTI which had somehow a popular party should play its positive role in national affairs instead of politics of protests.  “Imran Khan’s party will send a negative message at national and international level by protesting on the Independence Day,” he said.

Railways minister said the government and people of Pakistan would celebrate 14th of August with zeal and zest. He told the reporters that the prime minister had invited leaders of all political parties to celebrate the day at D-Chowk Islamabad, besides express solidarity with armed forces who were sacrificing their lives for the security and safe future of the country.  He, however, clarified that the celebration had not been planned to sabotage the political right of any political party to hold its rally. He criticised PMLQ leadership, saying Chaudhrys only knew how to conspire and employ hypocritical politics. He advised Tahirul Qadri to stay away from the Chaudhrys otherwise his political future will be doomed like theirs.  To a question that if the government intended to block the PTI’s long march, the railways minister replied it was the domain the interior ministry. Certainly, he added, the home department would analyse all aspects and see if the rally would pose a security threat for its participants or not and make the final decision. To another question regarding load shedding, he replied the government was working to increase the power generation but the age old transmission system was among the biggest reason behind the massive breakouts.