Imran Khan and his supporters will gather in Rawalpindi on Saturday after Khan was injured in an attack on his march this month.
Islamabad, Pakistan – Pakistan’s interior minister has asked former prime minister Imran Khan to postpone a planned sit-in in Rawalpindi on Saturday, citing the threat of an attack.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah told a press conference on Friday, “My advice to Imran Khan is to postpone the meeting as our intelligence agencies have informed us that any armed person or armed groups may try to take advantage of the situation and target the crowd.”
Based on the red alert issued by the security agencies, we have issued an official notification regarding the potential threat to tomorrow’s PTI rally. Imran Khan should postpone his plan as any anti-state element can use this opportunity to spread anarchy in the country.
— Rana SanaUllah Khan (@RanaSanaullahPK) November 25, 2022
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Khan is currently in Lahore recovering from the assassination attempt.
On November 3, he was shot and wounded in the leg while leading a protest march to the capital in Wazirabad, in the eastern province of Punjab, demanding early elections. The term of office of the current National Assembly expires in October.
The march started in Lahore on October 28 but was called off after the attack. Khan has since been addressing his supporters via video link every day. Last weekend, he told them to gather in Rawalpindi on Saturday.
PTI supporters are now moving towards Rawalpindi from all over the country. Khan was also scheduled to attend what was expected to be a major political gathering on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Internal Affairs said that he instructed the government to ensure the safety of the participants.
Khan was removed from the post of prime minister in April following a no-confidence vote in parliament. He then led nationwide rallies, but refused to appear in parliament, claiming the government was made up of corrupt leaders.
“If you don’t come, you will be responsible for everything, including inflation, economic turmoil and political turmoil,” Sanaullah said, asking Khan to consider returning to parliament. “Stop being stubborn and do politics instead.”
PTI official Musarrat Jamshed Cheema said morale in the party was high and a record turnout was expected in Rawalpindi.
“This will be the biggest gathering in our history,” he told Al Jazeera from Lahore. “This will be Imran Khan’s first public appearance [the] His life is attacked and waiting [a] monumental crowd because the people are extremely enthusiastic and passionate about their leader.
Cheema said that PTI has only one agenda and that is to hold early elections. “This is a peaceful struggle and nothing else,” he said, calling the rally “a kind of soft revolution.”
Khan will announce the party’s future plans, he said.
“His speech will determine our next course of action. If he asks us to stage a sit-in, we will do it,” Cheema added.