PTI rally postponed to May 5 due to challenges

Our Correspondent
Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday announced that its public meeting scheduled to be held on April 28 at Karachi’s Bagh-e-Jinnah has been deferred for a week due to “legal challenges and administrative procedures”.

The rally will now take place on May 5, said PTI Sindh President Haleem Adil Sheikh in a video statement. According to him, the decision to change the date of the rally was taken during a meeting of the PTI’s political committee.

Sheikh said that an application seeking permission to hold the rally had been submitted to the District East deputy commissioner, but a no-objection certificate was never issued, so the party had approached the Sindh High Court (SHC) seeking intervention.

He said the SHC took up the application on April 16, but during the hearing the DC “attempted to mislead the court”, so the matter was adjourned until April 26.

He opined that even if the courtwere to grant the PTI permission to hold the rally on the next date of hearing, it would not have been feasible for the party to manage the preparations within a couple of days, so it was decided to defer the meeting.

“This rally in Karachi is a major event requiring comprehensive arrangements, and it will now take place on May 5,” he commented. Taking a jibe at the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Sindh government, he said it was apparently scared of the PTI’s political power in the city, so it did not grant the permission.

He hoped that the court would allow the party to hold the public meeting, emphasising that it was their political and legal right that the provincial government had denied them. A day earlier several PTI workers had been arrested by the police after they attempted to hold a rally from the party’s city headquarters, Insaf House, to the Mazar-e-Quaid, demanding the release of their incarcerated party founder and former prime minister.

The arrested workers were later released after party leaders, including Sher Afzal Marwat, who was on a visit to the city, and Sheikh held negotiations with the police and demanded that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari order the release of their workers.

Islamabad meeting

The PTI’s Faheem Khan, a former MNA from Karachi, met with party chief Barrister Gohar Ali Khan and General Secretary Umar Ayub in Islamabad, discussing the party’s strategies against alleged rigging in February’s general elections and the May 5 public gathering.

The meeting discussed the political and legal moves regarding the acceptance of Form 45, and the challenges in holding the Bagh-e-Jinnah rally, said a statement issued by the party, adding that Khan informed the PTI leaders about the police action against their workers in Sindh.

The PTI leaders condemned the behaviour of Sindh’s government and police with their party workers, asserting that holding rallies and public gatherings is a legal and constitutional right of political parties.