PESHAWAR - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leadership in Peshawar felt they had the numbers and the strength to overcome the barricades put up by the federal government to repel them from entering Islamabad.

"To lock-down Islamabad, we are enough, and we will do it, and everyone will see it," PTI ex-provincial organizer Fazal Mohammad said in an interview. He pointed out that the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not need to panic. "Don't be afraid. We are a democratic people,” the PTI leader said.

Fazal was sprawled, along with scores of PTI supporters, at a camp in Swabi, waiting for the party chairman's call to make an advance towards Islamabad. He claimed that Peshawar Valley and Malakand division provided 200,000 supporters to the party's cause. And, almost the same numbers of people were going from southern and Hazara regions of the province.

"I am sure enough there will be no space once we reach Islamabad,"   Fazal said. 

He denied that PTI was relying on rent-a-crowd. "We have committed workers, and there is no need to pay them at all."

District Nazim Peshawar Arbab Mohammad Asim, who also belongs to the PTI, claimed that even more workers were on the way. "I would say more than 30,000 people attended the last CM led caravan and we are expecting to go with three hundred thousand people to the federal capital," he claimed.

Farzana Zain, an active female provincial leader of the PTI, strongly condemned the use of force by the federal and Punjab governments. "Nobody can stop us from going to Islamabad, which is also our federal capital and just of Punjab," she said.

Talha Irfan, a schoolteacher, while talking to The Nation, said, "peaceful protest is the democratic rights of every person. Thus, stopping workers of a political party reflected that there is no real democracy in the country."

A fruit seller at Nothia bazaar, Yousaf Shah, while sharing his views on the developments taking place in the country, said that this is a fight for "power and not for the cause of a common man, whose problems are multiplying with each passing day." "This tug-of-war in ruling clique will weaken Pakistan," the fruit seller said.–Said Alam Khan

SWAT

Following Imran Khan's call to lock-down Islamabad on November 2nd, thousand of PTI workers and supporters from Swat valley reached Bani Gala Islamabad, party sources claimed. The workers said that they faced numerous problems while traveling on the mountainous route to reached Banigala. Around six hundred workers were performing security duties at Banigala. Asif Shahzad President PTI Swat youth wing was monitoring the situation at Bani Gala. He said that Islamabad and Punjab police arrested 78 workers. Only 13 were released while the rest were still in prison of different police stations of Islamabad. He further said that 3 MNA’s and 7 MPAs, hailing from Swat, had also reached Bani Gala, along with their workers, and will stage a demonstration on Wednesday at any cost.

When contacted, Minister for Sports and Irrigation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan said, "we condemn the brutal attack of the federal government on our workers at Burhan and Swabi interchange."

"It has happened very first time in the history of Pakistan that the chief minister of a province was attacked and expired tear gas shell and rubber bullets were fired on his convoy," he said. 

When contacted, Advisor to Prime Minister, Engineer Ameer Muqam said that the entire world had seen the actual cause of PTI as modern weapons and wine bottles were recovered from one of its ministers. "The already have made a plan to spread fear in Islamabad, but the government won’t allow anyone to lock-down the capital of Pakistan,"   Muqam said.

Ameer Muqam said that the Supreme Court had accepted PTI's petition for a hearing. "So, there is nothing left to protest or arrange a demonstration against the government."

Muqam criticized the KP Chief Minister for using provincial authority's helicopter for his personal politics.

Quami Watan Party Malakand division zone chief Fazal Rehman said that his party didn't support PTI protest against Panama Papers leaks. "We will support them in parliament in a democratic way,"   Rehman said, adding that PTI should also follow the democratic way, like other opposition parties.

Around 200 hundred FC men were sent to Islamabad last Friday from Swat to assist Islamabad Police to maintain law and order situation.–Haroon Siraj

KARACHI

More than 5,000 workers, including Karachi region leaders, left the city for Islamabad to join PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s struggle. Talking to The Nation, PTI Karachi-based leader Dawa Khan Sabir said that more than five thousand workers departed to join PTI`s Islamabad sit-in. The party's finance committee facilitated about 4,500 workers for their travel, accommodation, food and other expense.  Others paid for the costs out of their own pockets. 

PTI MPA Khurram Sher Zaman earlier contacted Pakistan Railway for the reservation of two special trains for PTI convey to Islamabad but the railway authorities refused to accommodate, party sources said. Afterward, the party leadership decided that workers will leave for Islamabad in groups and will not carry any flags and banners to avoid arrest.

Party officials in Karachi said they planned to block Super Highway, National Highway & Hub River road. As a Plan B, they were prepared to block railway tracks and Karachi Airport while the eventual plan was to shut down the whole metropolitan.

"We are not afraid of the water cannons, tear gas and arrests," said Haleem Adil Sheikh, a party leader.

He said that the process of mobilization of the residence of Sindh province was initiated after the announcement of November 2 sit-in and various wings of the party have sprung into action with leaders reaching out to different segments of the society to woo the crowds to protest against the government.

Naila, a resident of DHA Karachi, said that PML-Nawaz should not create obstacles for PTI`s “Dharna." "Khan’s courage is unquestionable, and he would be successful in sending Nawaz Sharif home," she said.  

Mirza Baig, a resident of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, stated that intention of locking down the capital of the country was unacceptable. "Government should arrest the leadership, along with the workers, who are provoking violence," he said.

Majlis-e-Wahdtul Maslameen, or MWM, has decided not to be a part of Imran Khan's campaign. Ameen Shaheedi, an MWM leader, told The Nation that the PTI provincial government of KP did not fulfill promises to bring culprits of sectarian crimes to justice.

Urging Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and PTI Chairman Imran Khan to shun confrontation, Chairman of All Karachi Tajir Ittehad, Atiq Mir asked both government and PTI to resolve the issue through dialogue.

Mir said PTI had not made any requests to seek traders’ cooperation.

He questioned the utility of protests as the national exchequer faces about Rs10 billion loss per day, owing to a halt of business activities in Karachi, according to private estimates.–Farraz Israr

BAHAWALPUR

President Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Bahawalpur Muhammad Asgher Joyia and Secretary Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Bahawalpur Mian Nabeelur Rehman said that PTI is doing protest for the accountability of Nawaz Sharif. They stated that they were ready to face jails and all other brutal actions of government. They said PML-N is working on the agenda of the enemy. They also stated that the use of power by the government against peaceful and innocent women had exposed the real face of Nawaz Sharif. They said that Nawaz Sharif should present himself for accountability and corruption of his family. They demanded that people should join the protest to eliminate corruption from the country.

They said that dozens of PTI workers had left for Islamabad, would join the lock-down at every cost and alleged that that police was creating harassment for their workers. They warned that the government would be responsible for the consequences if police did any harm to the workers. They said that the government actions reflected the fear of the rulers.

City President of PTI Syed Tehseen Nawaz Gardezi said that Panama Leaks were nothing but the truth and no one can conceal the fact that Nawaz Sharif looted the country and transferred the money abroad illegally.

"The entire nation is standing with the Imran Khan, and no one can save Nawaz Sharif from accountability,"   Gardezi said. He said Nawaz Sharif wants to turn himself into a martyr of democracy, but we will fail his conspiracy.

General Secretary Insaf Lawyers Forum South Punjab and former MPA Mozamil Abbasi condemned the police attitude of the government. They said that government would never succeed to stop our workers by participating the workers in the protest by creating hurdles.

Pakistan Muslim League-Q Central Vice President and MNA Tariq Bashir Cheema said that a large number of people were ready to go to Islamabad. "We will show our power in this protest,"   Cheema said.  

On the other hand, Pakistan Awami Tehreek workers are also ready to participate in the lock-down call.  Sources said that PAT workers are waiting for only one call of their leader Tahir ul Qadri to join the PTI protest.

The government of Punjab has imposed section 144, which will remain intact until 8th of November. Heavy police contingents had been deployed at the exit and entry points of Bahawalpur. 

Satluj Bridge had also been closed with the containers were also placed, and these were creating hurdles to the citizens. Several drivers held a protest against this act of the administration and raised the slogans of "GO Nawaz, Go.” Police looked on at the protesters but did not interfere in their protest. However, the district administration and police authorities are reluctant to talk about the government directions regarding the crackdown on PTI workers.–Baqaul Mohsen

VEHARI

Police on Tuesday night launched a massive crackdown across the district Vehari against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf workers and members in a bid to prevent them from participating in November 2 protest in Islamabad.

The raids were carried out under the supervision of DPO Omer Saeed, DSP Saddar Imran Rasheed with concern SHOs.

According to details, police arrested more than 41 workers during the search operation. Furthermore, Police detained dozens of workers. However, police failed to arrest Hanif Atal, the head of PTI Vehari, Waheed Ulla General Secretary PTI and other leaders of PTI.

PS Danewal police allegedly raided the house of Muhammad Hussain Jutt elected councilor of PML-N UC 78 Shitab Garh and threatened his wife. While talking to The Nation, the woman said:” I was petrified when PS Danewal police and knocked her door at 12 PM and asked me to send out my husband.”

When she asked a reason for the raid, the police told her that her husband is a PTI leader and wanted him in police custody. She said that it was an unexpected situation for her because her husband has been working for PML-N for the last 19 years and he is elected counselor of PML-N. She told the police to go back and knock on the right door. Police refused to go back and insisted on letting them enter the house. Then, she made a call to a PML-N MNA, who told the situation to DPO Vehari. The senior police officer recalled the raiding team. The wife of   Jutt demanded an apology from police for the wrong raid and unlawful threats given by PS Danewal police.

DPO Vehari Omer Saeed has said that many leaders and activists, who were active and could cause trouble for the administration, were on the top of the list of people to be arrested.

“We are conducting search operations to detain them. We will not allow them to adopt an illegal way for their vested interests,” the police officer said.

But PTI workers were undeterred.

“No power or deception can stop us from holding a sit-in in Islamabad,” Waheed Ullah, the general secretary PTI Vehari, said during a talk with The Nation.

“People have decided to hold the corrupt prime minister accountable in Islamabad, or he will have to resign,” the PTI leader said, adding that the corrupt government is using illegal and unconstitutional tactics to refrain them from holding a peaceful protest. “We are not taking unconstitutional steps but the prime minister, whose corruption has been unearthed, is breaking the law. Holding a public office when you are suspected of committing a crime is unconstitutional,” Waheed Ullah said.

Vehari police prepared an exclusive list of political activists and leaders of Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tahreek for a possible crackdown against them. Sources told that lists were compiled by every police station of the district Vehari with the coordination of special branch and intelligence agencies.

DCO Vehari Akbar Ali Bhatti has said that we are the part of Punjab province and CM is our provincial head. “We will obey his all directions without any delay regarding any issue and any matter. We will not spare anybody if he tries to violate our state laws if we get directions to stop the PTI workers we will act accordingly,”   Bhatti said.

ADCG Tanvir Ur Rehman and AC Asif Shah stated that they had not received the directions to arrest the PTI political leaders and workers. They said the situation could change.

A convoy of PTI workers, led by Aftab Khan Khichi candidate for MNA from NA 169 and head of PTI cabinet in district Vehari, will leave for Islamabad Tuesday evening. The convoy will use the APV vans and personal cars provided by Aftab Khan Khichi and Hanif Atal president PTI district Vehari.

MPA PML (N) Mian Saqib Khursheed, on the other hands, said that Imran Khan is creating unrest in the society. “We should not decide our policies on the roads. We strongly condemn the attitude the Imran Khan,” Mian Khursheed said. “Imran should wait for the next elections.”–Staff Reporter

Bahawalnagar

PTI in the region is in a state of confusion over their participation in 2 November sit-in as the administration was tackling them with an iron-hand and exerted full efforts to bar their participation in Islamabad’s protest.  PTI could not capture broad support in Bahawalnagar district, despite the lapse of several years owing to different factors. The most important factor is poor organizational formation, which was always exposed at every important event. In 2013 election, PTI could win only one seat for provincial assembly out of 8. However, at present, the PTI workers and some other people are charged against government’s ill-conceived plans and improper priorities. But due to a th strict mood of administration, they are seeking a secret exit.  Meanwhile, district police are fulfilling the assigned task and started crackdown against political workers. In Chishtian Tehsil, PTI has an active role, as most of the office bearers belong to that area. However, in the wake of political victimization, the police also did not spare the ordinary people. Even wedding processions were not exempt from police checking. In Bahawalnagar town, the police raided near Bahawalnagar Bypass and arrested a PTI worker's father named Abdullah Multani. Meanwhile Syed Nadeem Shah, Malik Muzzafar Hussain and Sikandar Fayyaz Bhadera, the recognized leaders of PTI from Bahawalnagar, strongly resented the victimization of political workers. They said that Government conduct is against democratic norms and peaceful protest is the right of every political worker. They vowed that 2 November sit-in would prove to be the final nail in government's coffin.–Sohail Khan

MANDI BAHAUDDIN

PTI activists and workers, about 250 in strength, have reached Bani Gala to join the sit-in in Islamabad on 2 Nov, said District President Falak Sher Ranjha, when contacted by telephone. He said that in the presence of Police pickets at Rasul Barrage and River Jhelum Bridge, it was not possible for them to move in convoys and they decided to reach Islamabad individually in public and private transport. He further said police were keeping watch on their activities to arrest them, but they went underground to hold coordination meetings. He said PMLQ activists were also expected to join them and they would also be in large number. Two days ago, District President PMLQ Riaz Asghar Warriach held a meeting with the party activists and workers and decided to convene a joint sit-in at Islamabad. Police officials did not disclose their plan to block PTI workers routes for traveling to Islamabad.–Sher Gondal

SAMBRIAL

Police throughout Tehsil Sambrial could arrest no senior local leader of PTI in the massive crackdown. Police raided to arrest all top PTI leaders including Brig (r) Aslam Ghumman, Azeem Noori Ghumman ex-MPA, Salman Saif Cheema, Idrees Ahmed Cheema, Haroon Zia Ghumman, Jamshed Aslam Cheema, Fiaz Cheema and Umer Ihsan Ghumman etc, but they could not arrest any person. Salman Saif Cheema, Haroon Zia Ghumman & Fiaz Cheema have reached Bani Gala, Islamabad. Police have blocked Sialkot via Sambrial to Islamabad road at Pakki Garhi area by containers to stop PTI workers from going Islamabad. Rest of the leaders are dodging police to avoid arrest and finding ways to join their leader Imran Khan at Bani Gala, Islamabad, for lock-down.–Staff Reporter

KAMALIA

A convoy of 20 vehicles led by President PTI West Ch Mohammad Ashfaq, former district Nazim Toba Tek Singh, and another convoy of 150 people led by Joint Secretary West Punjab Ch Mohammad Sarwar, former Governor Punjab, reached Islamabad.

Ch Mohammad Ashfaq told The Nation correspondent that the Punjab Police had sent up barriers and checkpoints along the way but their convoys were successful in avoiding police checks and have successfully reached Islamabad through alternate and secret routes. He claimed that all political workers in convoy had been moved to an undisclosed location in Islamabad and they will join in the November 2 protest. He stated that many workers have been unable to reach Islamabad due to a lack of resources and the continued harassment by the police.

Ch. Mohammad Sarwar, the former Governor Punjab told The Nation correspondent that the workers are very enthusiastic and keen to carry out Imran Khan's orders. He further said that on reaching Islamabad motorway, police let him enter Islamabad. “But the police stopped the workers, who were accompanying me, at the Motorway,” he said. President PTI Kamalia Tanveer Ullah Babar said that rulers are using every possible tactic to hide their corruption and are targeting the workers to create an atmosphere of fear and violence in front of media. He stated that peaceful workers are being implicated in false cases. “The country has converted into a police-run-state,” he said.

  Babar further said that the police is entering the homes of workers and arresting them. Many activists are still hiding in fear of the police rounding up and could not be contacted. On the other hand, DSP Kamalia Mehr Mohammad Saeed has said that no political activist in Kamalia has been harassed or arrested.–Staff Reporter

TOBA TEK SINGH

By Tuesday evening, police arrested several PTI workers, including a former union council Nazim and Rajana PTI leader Chaudhry Shabbir Ahmad Nanha, PTI youth wing city president Sardar Zahid Iqal Rehmani, Asif Ali of Sitara Colony, PTI's minority wing leader Raja Faryad Maseeh's father Sabir Maseeh.  Muhammad Adeel, a deaf and dumb boy, the nephew of a former Toba councilor Ghulam Rasool Choonay Wala, was also arrested along with Gojra's PTI defeated provincial assembly candidate Mian Muhammad Tariq's son, ISF district president Bilal Gujjar's father, Ghulam Hussain of Pirmahal, Muhammad Aslam of Gojra and PML-Q leader from Gojra Tahir Hussain Ranjha.

Meanwhile, the Gojra police also arrested PTI's Dr. Shabbir Ahmad, Sheikh Aftab Ahmad and Muhammad Azam of Gojra and Mian Nisar Ahmad of Chak 155 GB Chahlan.–Staff Reporter

LALAMUSA

The PTI workers and senior leaders on the directions of PTI chairman Imran Khan went underground to avoid arrest by local police. At the same time, hundreds of workers have reached the surrounding areas of Islamabad to join the PTI Nov. 2 rally, party sources said.

Local Police have been raiding houses and possible hideouts but have only been able to arrest a single PTI MC Councilor Lalamusa Muhammad Hanif Butt. No more arrests are reported so far.–Attaullah Cheema