LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf expects about half-a-million people at its ‘do or die’ public meeting at Minar-i-Pakistan on Pakistan Day (tomorrow).
The meeting will get PTI’s election campaign rolling with chairman Imran Khan unfolding much-awaited party manifesto.
The party has finalised preparations for the public meeting that will pave the way for, what it calls, a New Pakistan. Banners and streamers are fluttering all around in the city informing and urging people to participate in the event.
The party has arranged around 100,000 chairs in the Minto Park and expects total gathering of around half a million. All elected office-bearers have been given tasks to bring maximum number of workers and masses at the public meeting.
The party management has also installed secret cameras to identify “who brought how many people” at the event.
“The elected office-bearers and leaders’ ability will be judged through their fan following at the event,” a party official told Dawn on Thursday.
The official said the PTI Lahore chapter had acquired all required equipment including sound system and chairs three days before the meeting. As many as 12 walk-through gates would be installed at the meeting venue besides other security measures for the protection of the participants.
Following Imran Khan’s announcement that the PTI will purchase all metro bus tickets to facilitate its workers and masses’ transportation to Minar-i-Pakistan venue, a PTI Lahore chapter official said all elected office-bearers of Lahore town along the Ferozepur Road had been directed to purchase all bus tickets.
Though the Punjab government officials created hurdles in the preparations of the event for a couple of days, the official said it went on the back foot following repeated protests and criticism by PTI leaders including the chairman. “Now, the government is facilitating and arrangements are in full swing,” he added.
PTI Lahore president Abdul Aleem Khan visited the venue and monitored the arrangements. He reviewed sitting, security and sound system arrangements besides stage as well as media, women and youth galleries. He said the venue would be sealed about 24 hours before the public meeting and no body would be allowed to enter without body search. He said the PTI youth wing and volunteers would man the walk-through security gates.
Meanwhile, Aleem Khan led a rally from Liberty Roundabout, which was organised by PTI Gulberg Town. Besides a large number of PTI followers, Gulberg Town president Nazir Chohan, Zahid Shairwani, Mian Tariq, Ms Shahnaz and other participated in the rally. He said the time had come when the silent majority in the country would come out and vote for change under the leadership of Imran Khan.
The rally participants chanted slogans. They said the PTI followers’ enthusiasm would rip down the status quo and bring about a real change in the country and make Pakistan prosper.