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Imran says 'no blockade can stop' Azadi March from reaching D-Chowk as govt cracks down on PTI workers

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 25th May, 2022 05:08:41 PM
  • Print news

As PTI's Azadi March began on Wednesday, tensions in Punjab rose after police made use of tear gas and arrested several PTI marchers in Lahore as activists attempted to remove the shipping containers between them and Islamabad.

It came after PTI chairman Imran Khan exhorted his supporters yesterday to embark on their march for "true freedom" towards Islamabad, just a day after the government said it would not allow the march. In response, Imran called on the youth to remove the obstacles themselves.

Imran Khan had arrived at the Wali Interchange in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by helicopter. Footage of Imran arriving at the interchange showed PTI activists converging on the chopper.

Imran Khan, later, departed for Islamabad from the Wali Interchange in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Afterwards, PTI tweeted a photo of Imran waving to supporters from a truck adorned with PTI colours.

Imran also urged protesters to carry the Pakistani flag, calling today a "defining moment" for Pakistan.

'No blockade can stop us'

After reaching Swabi, Imran, holding a Pakistan flag, delivered a speech to supporters. In it, he said that "we are going to D-Chowk and no one can stop us" as the crowd cheered.

Calling the incumbent government a "group of thieves", he termed them the most corrupt people in the country of history and said that they were afraid of the people which is why they had placed containers.

He said that protesters were being detained and harassed as they participated in the Azadi March. Addressing politicians of the ruling coalition, Imran said that the PTI government did not bar any of them from staging protests as they "did not fear the people".

He asserted that the government was afraid as they had been plundering national wealth for the past 30 years. "I want to give the people a message from Swabi Interchange: whatever you do, we will cross all obstacles and reach D-Chowk. Our protest will be peaceful as it has always been."

Imran maintained that staging a protest was the party's right, adding that he would unite the country and make it a nation. "This nation does not accept this imported government," he declared, calling on the people to come out for what he has described of late as a "jihad" for "true freedom".

"All Pakistanis, women, children, families, youth, lawyers, retired army officers, everyone has to come out for real independence," he said.

Meanwhile, other party leaders departed from their respective locations, with Hammad Azhar, Yasmin Rashid and some others from Lahore, while Shahid Khattak departed from Karak. PTI's Fayyazul Hasan Chohan could be seen on television footage departing for Islamabad on a motorcycle.

Govt, Imran rubbish reports of deal

Meanwhile, government spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb and Imran rubbished news reports of a deal among the two parties.

Aurangzeb said no agreement was reached between the federal government and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf. "News of negotiations and agreement between the government and PTI is baseless". She added that no agreement had been reached with the "armed group that martyred a police personnel".

Source: Dawn