LAHORE - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf which started its success journey from Minar-e-Pakistan on October 30, 2011, should hold its show against price hike on December 22 in the provincial capital from the same venue in a bid to infuse the October 2011 spirit in the party leaders and workers ahead of local government elections, some PTI leaders advised Imran Khan.
The PTI insiders privy to the developments concerning December 22 strategy told this correspondent on Wednesday that some party leaders advised Imran Khan to launch the most important power show of the party at the venue from where it started its success journey in an effort to infuse a new spirit in the party leaders and workers, which was vital for boosting their morale ahead of local government polls.
The party leaders also proposed that PTI, after staging a show at Minar-e-Pakistan, could lead a massive protest rally under the command of Imran Khan up to Faisal Chowk, The Mall.
They further suggested that the protest rally against price hike starting from Minar-i-Pakistan could make Nasir Bagh its concluding point or Nasir Bagh could become its first stop reach its final stage at Faisal Chowk in front of the Punjab Assembly.
Another group of the party leaders, according to the insiders, proposed that they should stick to the plan (from Nasir Bagh to Faisal Chowk) as the party could suffer major political loss ahead of local government polls if it failed to stage a successful show at Minar-i-Pakistan.
They were of the view that the party had already failed to stage a successful show at Minar-i-Pakistan on March 23, 2013, and could not afford a similar result ahead of local government elections.
In the light of the March 2013 experience, it would be wiser to launch the anti-price hike protest rally from Nasir Bagh, while the party chairman, instead of staying at the staging point for a long pause, should move forward to Faisal Chowk to maintain the momentum till the conclusion of the show.
However, the leaders who proposed starting the show from Minar-i-Pakistan were of the opinion that it was a must to check the party’s strength ahead of local government elections, especially in Lahore, considered to be the ‘seat of power’ of the ruling party.
They remarked that several major office bearers had repeatedly been showing lethargic behaviour soon after the rise of the PTI from Minar-i-Pakistan on October 30, 2011, and the party had suffered major setbacks in the general polls, especially in Punjab due to this attitude on part of the leaders steering the party.
PTI Punjab President Ijaz Chaudhary, when contacted, said, “It has been decided at a core committee meeting of the party that Nasir Bagh will be the staging point of the rally which will conclude at Faisal Chowk in front of the Punjab Assembly.”
He, however, added,
“The provincial and city chapter is capable of organising the show at some other venue provided the party high command decides to do so at least two days before.”
Giving more details about PTI’s protest drive against price hike, Ijaz said, “The December 22 protest will be restricted only to Lahore, while similar rallies will be staged division-wise across the province and Faisalabad will be the next division after Lahore.”
Meanwhile, Ijaz Chaudhary has written a letter to the Election Commission to remind the authority of appointing judicial officers for supervising the local government polls in the Punjab to ensure transparency.
He said that holding of fair polls by the DCOs were not possible under the influence of the chief minister who was facilitating their postings and transfers.
It may be mentioned here a major event of Urs of Hazrat Data Gunj Bakhsh Ali Hajveri will also be held on December 22. However, a PTI spokesman claimed that many of the devotees of Hazrat Data Gunj Bakhsh would also join the PTI protest rally and there would no chance of a mess on the two major events the same day.