KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday addressed thousands of Karachi supporters eagerly awaiting to see the cricketer-turned-politician who has spent the last month encamped in the capital, demanding the ouster of the prime minister.
“I am thankful to Allah that the nation has awakened. We will never bow before the statue of cruelty,” he said.
“We have come to Karachi to unite all communities and to break the shackles of cruelty that has divided the people,” Khan added.
By 6pm Sunday evening, Khan had reached the stage set up at the venue opposite the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi, flanked by prominent party members and leaders.
Earlier, Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed and PTI vice president Shah Mehmood Qureshi addressed the participants of the rally. Arif Alvi, Asad Umer and other founding PTI members were also present on stage with the party chairman.
“When people of Karachi take to the streets, then the whole of Pakistan takes to the streets,” said Sheikh Rasheed.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said it was time for Nawaz Sharif to go now and said he challenges any member of the sitting cabinet to count the number of supporters who have turned up in Karachi.
The rally venue was packed with PTI supporters, including a large number women and children, who were chanting pro-Imran slogans as well as the popular anti-government slogan, “Go Nawaz, go!”
Khan reached the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi via a chartered plane where he was received by a large number of supporters.
The party chief moved towards the rally venue on Shahrah-e-Quaideen where people had began pouring in after 2pm.
Women supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf showing victory sign during public gathering of PTI near Mazar-e-Quaid on Sunday.
Scores of women and children with painted faces and PTI-themed wristbands flashed victory signs at the dozens of television reporters and camera crew. When asked why they had come out in hordes to the rally, most participants said they believe Imran Khan is the only leader who can bring a change in Pakistan.
Strict security arrangements have been put in place by the party and a large number of policemen were also deployed at the venue. Walk-in scanner gates were also installed at the entry/exit points of the rally.
Policemen standing alert to avert any untoward incident as supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf gather near Mazar-e-Quaid during a protest on Sunday.
A day earlier, Imran addressed his supporters from his contained in Islamabad’s D-Chowk and said,“Be ready, my dear people in Karachi. I am coming to address a public gathering in your city, but I will be back in Islamabad tomorrow night so I can participate in the sit-in at D-Chowk.”