ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday barred ministers from leaving Islamabad on Saturday and Sunday.
He said this while presiding over a meeting of the government and party’s spokespersons in Islamabad. The meeting expressed fears that the opposition’s march on Islamabad would lead to political instability.
During the meeting, the prime minister asked the spokespersons to counter opposition’s Azadi March politically and expose opposition’s aims on media.
Imran Khan said that the Azadi March was being held to create instability in the country, adding that some elements were creating hurdles in the country’s prosperity.
The PM while directing the ministers and spokespersons to counter Azadi March through PTI’s narrative and said that efforts underway to resolve political issue politically.
He further expressed satisfaction on current media strategy and directed to inform government’s policies instead of personal agenda. He directed the attendees to inform the masses about the government’s economic achievements.
He directed to effectively present policies and steps taken by the government and asked party leaders not to issue statements on former premier Nawaz Sharif’s illness.
Use of force last option
Earlier today, the federal government has devised its strategy against Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) Azadi March and decided that use of force will be the last option if the protest creates anarchy.
It has been decided that strict action will be taken against the marchers if they enter Islamabad’s Red Zone. Prime Minister Imran Khan has given complete authority to the government’s negotiation committee – headed by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak – to take decisions.
Furthermore, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government has decided to hold talks with the protesters if they stage a sit-in in the federal capital.
Let it be known that the anti-government Azadi March caravan led by JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman reached Lahore in the wee hours of Wednesday.
A large number of workers and leaders of various opposition political parties, including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) welcomed Fazlur Rehman and the participants on reaching Lahore.
The long march of opposition parties including, JUI-F, PPP, PML-N, Awami National Party (ANP) and others started its journey from Karachi on October 27 and will enter Islamabad on October 31 (tomorrow) during daytime where the JUI-F chief has announced to decide the next course of action.
Sources privy to the matter told the media on Wednesday that the marchers would move towards Gujjar Khan tonight, and the leadership would take the decision about spending the night after consultation.
Importantly, the long march will not move towards Rawalpindi and instead will enter Islamabad.
Containers placed on many highways in Punjab have been removed for the marchers to proceed. The demonstrators have been holding party flags and chanting full-throat slogans against the government.
Schools to remain close
On the other hand, all private schools will remain close in Islamabad tomorrow citing uncertain security, law and order situation when the opposition parties’ Azadi March will enter the federal capital.
Private Schools Association’s president stated that the decision to reopen the schools will be taken in light of the developing situation. The secretary of the association said that the decision has been taken for the safety of schoolchildren.