Political temperature runs high in Capital

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Sheikh Rashid steals the show with bold moves; PTI leadership remains confined to Bani Gala; Imran adamant on November 2 protest call

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad—Whilst the PTI protestors remained engaged in scuffles with police outside the residence of Imran Khan in Bani Gala till the filing of this report, the top leadership of Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf, including its Chairman Imran Khan, remained confined to his residence making no attempt to reach out to its ally Sheikh Rashid Ahmad in Rawalpindi, who despite all hurdles created around his Lal Haveli residence managed to address a small gathering of people at Committee Chowk.
According to political analysts, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad while crossing all hurdles and managing to address the people has proved himself a true political workers while they criticized the leadership of PTI of limiting itself to the Bani Gala. They said that some of the leaders of PTI should have visited Rawalpindi in support of Sheikh Rashid.
Addressing the gathering atop a DSNG van, the Awami Muslim league (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed in a message to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Rasheed said, “Nawaz Sharif I said I would come and I have arrived.” During his address, he challenged authorities to arrest him if they can.
The AML chief also demanded that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should present himself for accountability. Sheikh Rashid claimed that 450 people had been arrested.
He told protestors that all roads leading to Lal Haveli had been blocked. After addressing protestors for about 10 minutes, the AML chief left on a motorcycle.
“Today was a trailer, film will be shown on November 2,” Rasheed said in a tweet after leaving Committee Chowk.
Meanwhile, talking to the media outside his residence, Imran Khan on Friday vowed to not rest until Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is held accountable for what the PTI chief called his “corruption”.
“Is this a kingdom or a democracy?” the PTI chairman questioned. “What crime have we committed? Why did they stop me from going to Rawalpindi?”
“When IHC directed not to block Islamabad then why was Bani Gala sealed?”
Explaining his decision to not resist police in reaching Rawalpindi, Imran said: “We were going to Pindi to prepare for Nov 2, but when they (police) stopped us we agreed there was no point in doing this today when our target is Nov 2.”
He said he would show during the Islamabad protest “what the true power of people “.
“I will follow you till my last breath,” he warned Nawaz Sharif. “If you put me in jail, I will come after you when I get out.”
Imran further alleged that although Nawaz chants the mantra of democracy, he does that “just to safeguard his corruption”.
“To hide his corruption, he does not respect any law… to hide his corruption he uses language of Modi against Pakistan Army,” Imran alleged.
He said even “30,000 policemen” cannot stop him from going to the Capital on Nov 2 and directed party workers to avoid arrest and gear up for the planned protest in Islamabad.
Meanwhile, scores of workers of Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf were also arrested on Friday and police used force to disperse the workers gathered outside the residence of Imran Khan.

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