The ruling government PML-N, as well as the PTI and its ally the Awami Muslim League (AML), are finalising arrangements for their respective public rallies, to be held on the eve of Independence Day in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
The PTI and Sheikh Rashid’s AML are holding a rally and a public meeting at Liaquat Bagh and Lal Haveli, respectively, while the PML-N is preparing for a public meeting on Iqbal Road the same day.
The PTI submitted an application with the City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR) for the security of the rally from Mareer Chowk in Rawalpindi to 8th Avenue in Islamabad.
PTI MPAs Arif Abbasi and Rashid Hafeez submitted the application to District Coordination Officer Talat Mehmood Gondal, mentioning that Imran Khan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Jehangir Tareen will lead the rally.
PTI’s rally is part of the opposition’s efforts to press the government to launch a probe into Panama Leaks, which involved offshore holdings of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family.
The anti-government and anti-corruption rally is part of PTI’s Tehreek-e-Ehtesab which the party kicked off last week holding a rally from Peshawar to Attock.
AML President Sheikh Rashid Ahmed was hopeful of the success of his public meeting and said he had invited local religious leaders and seminarians to the public gathering.
“My public meeting is separate from PTI,” he said.
He said the basic aim of the AML’s public meeting was to highlight the corruption of the ruling elites and exposed them. “Panama Papers leaks exposed the ruling elites and time has come to get the answer from them about the illegal money transferred abroad.”
He said that PML-N was organising a public meeting just to disturb his meeting.
“The residents of the garrison city are mature and they know who is wrong and who is right and the result will come on August 13,” he said.
On the occasion, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is also holding a large public meeting at its stronghold of Rawalpindi.
The PML-N assigned the duties of the 40 union council chairmen to bring maximum numbers of people to the public meeting.
All traders’ associations were called to the office of former MNA Hanif Abbasi to ask them to participate in the public meeting. The meeting union council chairmen and councillors were also held at Rawal Town Municipal Administration offices on Tuesday night where the PML-N local leaders assigned them to make arrangements for the transportation of people to a public meeting.
“The traders demanded relaxation in taxes and resolution of matters pending with the local administration so that they would attend the public meeting,” said a senior leader of the PML-N.
However, PML-N former MNA Malik Shakeel Awan said that most residents of the garrison city belonged to PML-N and they would come to the public meeting for the sake of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif.
Tight security arrangements have been made in the city amid political tension between rival parties.