As Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan made the speech at last night’s public gathering at Minar-e-Pakistan, several key leaders and workers of the party reportedly left the event midway.
The PTI held a massive rally which the deposed prime minister had said would “break all the records” late on Saturday with hundreds in attendance.
However, some major PTI leaders including Pervez Khattak, Qasim Suri, Yasmin Rashid and Raja Basharat were seen leaving even before Khan could conclude his address.
When a reporter asked the reason for leaving, Rashid said: “Will you make news out of it?”
She further clarified that she was leaving because she wasn’t well.
When the same question was asked to Suri, he claimed that Khan’s address had ended.
The PTI organised the jalsa at Lahore’s monumental Minar-e-Pakistan ground despite the interim Punjab government’s “threat alert” that terrorists might target political functions in the provincial capital.
PTI chairman — who was ousted as the prime minister in April last year and is embroiled in dozens of cases — addressed the crowd, standing behind a bulletproof container, just a couple of hours before the fourth sehri of the holy month of Ramadan.
“A level-playing field does not mean Imran Khan’s hands are tied. A century of cases have been filed against me, including 40 terrorism cases. Now, the number of cases is almost 150,” the deposed prime minister said during the address.
He praised his party’s supporters for showing up at the rally’s venue, saying that despite all kinds of obstacles, people, in large number, came to Minar-e-Pakistan.
“Those in power must know that [blocking the roads and pathways with shipping] containers cannot stop people who want true independence,” he explained, adding that fear was spread to frustrate the public meeting.