Imran Khan’s PTI starts long march today to demand early elections

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New Delhi: Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan plans to start his “Haqeeqi Azadi Long March” on Friday to press for his party’s demand for an early election.

The march will take off from Lahore’s Liberty Chowk at 11 am on Friday and will head off to the capital city of Islamabad, the Dawn newspaper reported. “The purpose of the long march is not any political gains or to topple the government, but to make sure that our future is not decided by foreign players,” said the PTI chief via a video message on Thursday.

Earlier this month, Imran Khan directed his supporters to call off demonstrations for the long march against the government, after his disqualification by the Pakistan Election Commission triggered nationwide protests.

In a Twitter post, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said today Pakistan is entering the “decisive phase of the battle for its future.”

“Today, from October 28, our conscious nation is entering the decisive phase of the battle for its future, where the people themselves have to decide what kind of Pakistan they want to see. Get out for the sake of Pakistan,” PTI tweeted.

Ahead of PTI’s long march, Islamabad police issued instructions to its officers pertaining to the code of conduct during the march expected to reach Islamabad in a few days.
Security officers at the frontline will be deployed along with anti-riot gear, but police personnel deployed to counter the march will not be armed with weapons, according to Dawn.

The PTI’s long march comes a day after Pakistan’s spymaster addressed the public in a rare joint press conference, alongside the head of the country’s military media wing.

On Thursday, the Director-General (DG) of the ISI, Nadeem Anjum and the DG of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Babar Iftikhar held an unprecedented joint press conference over the mystery surrounding the killing of senior Pakistan journalist Arshad Sharif.

“When lies are being spoken so easily, fluently, and without inhibition from one side that there is a danger of chaos and upheaval in the country, the truth cannot remain unspoken for too long,” Anjum was quoted as saying by Dawn, about his decision to speak out, in response to the alleged role in Sharif’s killing.

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