PTI pulls up surprise crowd at Minar-e-Pakistan

LAHORE: After power shows in Peshawar and Karachi, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Thursday pulled up a huge show in historical Minar-e-Pakistan ground.

By the afternoon, the ground had been packed while people were complaining against authorities for blocking entry into the ground. The crowd had people from all ages and all backgrounds. Women, children, you and old were carrying PTI flags while some had used the flags like ribbons and scarf.

Speaking to Pakistan Today, Muhammad Ishtiaq of Tehreek-e-Insaf Lahore said that a stage 120 feet long and 40 feet high was constructed in the auditorium and fifty thousand seats were provided for the participants in the venue.

A total of fifteen big screens have been set up to show Imran Khan’s speech in the meeting and fifty loudspeakers and nine hundred light towers have also been installed. DJ Walee Sons performed the duties of DJ in the meeting while for the meeting DJ Walee Sons also released the song of imported government disapproval.

Traffic arrangements

The flow of traffic around the venue [Minar Pakistan] has been severely affected since Thursday evening as a large number of PTI workers and people started heading towards the Jalsa Gah just before 3 pm. However, when the traffic police officials were contacted in this regard, Chief Traffic Officer Montazer Mehdi informed that SP Traffic Asif Siddique was supervising the traffic arrangements while 11 DSPs, 51 inspectors and a total of 11 More than 660 personnel will be on duty.

According to the CTO, arrangements were made for the car parking of the participants at the parking lot of Greater Iqbal Park, Mochi Gate and backside of Lahore Fort. However, vehicles were also parked in single lane on both the sides of Ring Road while heavy diversion for heavy and slow moving vehicles was done from Shahdara Chowk, Saggian Chowk, Begum Kot Chowk and Kachehri Chowk.

According to traffic officials, citizens were asked to use the Eastern Bypass, Babu Sabu and Thokar Niaz Beg routes to get in and out of Lahore.

Security Arrangements

Due to security concerns, the Punjab government closed Metro Bus Service and Orange Train service. On the other hand, the health department had issued orders to all government hospitals in the city to remain on high alert. The Department of Specialized Healthcare Punjab has directed the staff of hospitals, dispensaries and Rescue 1122 to be ready for any emergency situation.

Sources in Police department informed that t due to security concerns, the dice of former Prime Minister Imran Khan was also bullet proof and a bullet proof shield was placed around the dice. Lahore police had tightened security at the entrance gates of the venue and people were allowed to enter the venue only after searching their clothes.

Meanwhile, the gate number 5 of greater Iqbal Park used for media entry was closed for some time by the police. However, according to police sources, the gate was closed when a large number of workers went out to fast whereas PTI workers also protested when the gate was closed. On the other hand, in view of the fear of internet being affected in the jalsa, three internet boosters were installed in the venue so that the proceedings of the meeting could be shown on social media even in case of weak signal.

Rain affecting meeting schedule

It had rained before Imran Khan’s speech at the PTI meeting. However, despite the rain, the enthusiasm of the captain’s players did not end. During the rain, the former prime minister began his speech and asked the people to sit down to stop the stampede.

Speaking to Pakistan Today, an official of the Special Branch informed that according to his report, more than 60,000 people were present in the venue. The official further said that there were less than 50,000 seats while most of the people listened to the meeting while standing.

Shahab Omer
Shahab Omer
The writer is a member of the staff and can be reached on [email protected]
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