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Army deployed to protect red zone as Imran Khan enters Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: The first day of PTI’s Azadi March here passed in great tension, clashes between PTI’s supporters and law enforcing agencies, baton charges and massive arrests. As the tension is mounting, Army has been called to protect Red Zone where important building and diplomatic enclave are situated.

ISLAMABAD: Former Prime Minister and PTI’s Chairman Imran Khan along with party leaders and supporters entering Islamabad on Wednesday night.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan entered Islamabad via the Srinagar Highway a little after midnight on Thursday, with his eventual destination being D-Chowk where a batch of his party workers and supporters are already present in the face of intense police shelling.

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

ISLAMABAD: Former Prime Minister and PTI’s Chairman Imran Khan along with party leaders and supporters entering Islamabad on Wednesday night.

Aurangzeb said no agreement was reached between the federal government and the PTI. “News of negotiations and agreement between the government and PTI is baseless”. She added that no agreement could be reached with an “armed group that martyred a police personnel”.

ISLAMABAD: Policeman fire tear gas shell for disperse activists of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-lnsaf (PTI] party of ousted Prime Minister lmran Khan during a protest.

Earlier, during a brief stopover in Hasan Abdal approximately 50 kilometres away from the capital, Imran reiterated that he and his supporters would not vacate D-Chowk until a date for new elections was announced by the “imported government”.

KARACHI: A view of burnt police van at numaish chowrangi after clash between police and PTI activates during protest

The PTI leader claimed that when his caravan reaches its destination, the police would also come to realise that his mission is about “jihad and not politics”. Later, according to a video shared on PTI’s official account, Imran’s caravan, while it was on its way to D-Chowk, was “waved at and welcomed” even by police officials.

KARACHI: A view of burnt police van at numaish chowrangi after clash between police and PTI activates during protest

Imran Khan’s caravan was close to Islamabad when he called on his supporters to reach the D-Chowk protest spot near the country’s parliament building and other sensitive government installations, saying he would stay there until the assemblies were dissolved and an election date was announced.

Notification of deployment of Army to protect Red Zone and diplomatic Enclave in Islamabad.

Meanwhile. in an earlier video message, Imran asked “all Pakistanis” to take to the streets in their respective cities and said people heading to Islamabad must reach D-Chowk.

“I will make it there in a couple of hours.” He also appealed to women and children to come out of their homes for “real independence”. Imran said it was “good news” that the Supreme Court had decided that no one would be arrested during the march.

“Your collective presence will send a message across Pakistan that the nation has rejected this imported government.”

Earlier, around 6pm, the main convoy from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which includes Imran, was able to enter Punjab from Attock after successfully removing barricades placed by the Punjab government at the Attock bridge to stop marchers from entering the province.

Some prominent PTI leaders, including Fawad Chaudhry and Shireen Mazari, also urged supporters to make their way to the capital’s D-Chowk, saying that all containers and blockades on the way had been removed.

Shehbaz Sharif

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday said the politics of sit-ins (dharna) was detrimental to progress and stability of Pakistan. The prime minister, in a post on his Twitter handle, said, “It has been my conviction that Pakistan will progress only through sheer hard work. Politics of dharna is detrimental to progress and stability.

We are focused on overcoming challenges of governance. Nothing can distract us from the task at hand. I owe it to people of Pakistan.”

LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addressing the engineers and workers at the under-construction Karot Hydropower project on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday said that by learning the past mistakes, the people should now reject the dirty politics sit-ins which had inflicted huge economic loss to the national economy.

The prime minister, addressing the engineers and workers at the under-construction Karot Hydropower project here, said the 2014 sit-in (by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) still haunted the memories as it had caused the postponement of the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“A sit-in is being planned again… We should not divide the nation through sit-in… What message you are giving through the sit-in,” the prime minister questioned the PTI leadership which was on its way to Islamabad for a sit-in in the federal capital.

Without naming the PTI, he said the political party had been requested to suspend or relocate their sit-in for three days from D Chowk but they were adamant not changing their mind.

He said that had the visit of the Chinese president taken place in 2014, the Karot power project –a part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor- would have been completed a year ago to contribute 720 megawatts to the national grid.

He said the government was trying to rectify the bad economy and inflation inherited from the previous government. By reducing the oil prices, the previous government had left a “landmine” for his government, he added.

Rana Sanaullah Khan

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Wednesday said that the government will not tolerate terrorism in guise of politics after police seized huge cache of weapons from residence of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader in provincial capital of Punjab ahead of their long march.

In his statement, the federal minister said that PTI General Secretary’s house is a depot of ammunition and the discovery of arms from the homes of PTI officials is proof of a bloody march. The nation has seen that from where did the bullet came which killed an innocent police personnel.

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan along with Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb addresses a press conference on Wednesday.

While in a press conference, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Musadiq Malik and Khurram Dastagir said that government will not be doing any compromise with PTI. There will be no reconciliation with the group.

In their press conference they said that gathering of the people cannot be used to overthrow constitutional government. As per constitution, spreading chaos is not a democratic right of people.

Amid blockades and crackdown against party workers across the country, PTI has begun their march towards Islamabad on Imran Khan’s call. Most extensive road blockades were seen in the Punjab capital of Lahore where the government placed shipping containers over the Ravi Bridge. A heavy contingent of police was deployed there.