LAHORE - The PTI high command can depute baton-equipped women to protect its female activists in public gatherings of the party in the Punjab, close aides of Imran Khan told The Nation yesterday.

Imran Khan’s party which is in hot waters because of repeated incidents of foul play with its women supporters during major party moots is pondering over several proposals to deal with the serious issue tarnishing its image.

The rogue elements in PTI that teased women activists during the party’s foundation day celebrations on April 24 in the federal capital and a similar incident in Lahore on May 1 during a protest gathering for Panama leaks commission could not be identified so far. The mischievous elements in PTI came to public knowledge during the party’s 126-day-long sit-in at D-Chowk, Islamabad, in 2014. More than one incident of women teasing surfaced during the sit-in forcing Imran Khan to appeal to his party men to protect women and identify miscreants in the party.

The party of Khan had failed to identify the rogue activists, but the reports of two security agencies deputed to oversee the security arrangements reported that the PTI boys who misbehaved with women during the Azadi sit-in belonged to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan.

According to the party chairman’s close aides, senior party leaders gave several suggestions to check and monitor the mischievous elements in the upcoming public gatherings in the Punjab and elsewhere.

One of the proposals was that the duty of protecting women enclosures should be given to the party’s women activists equipped with batons. Another suggestion was that the PTI workers should be provided with the party identity cards and they should be allowed entry after checking the cards.

It also said that there could be different entry points for those participating in public gatherings of which more than one could be used for the party activists who would be allowed entry after checking their cards.

The other entry points could be used for non-party participants. The party activists except well-known leaders should keep on wearing the party cards during the entire event, which would help private security arrangements to differentiate between the party and non-party participants, they added.

Apart from the security arrangements of the government, the party should increase the level of private security arrangements and install its own temporary CCTV network to monitor the public shows.

For the purpose of organizing private security arrangements, ex-security services members of the party should be engaged, said yet another proposal, revealed Khan’s close aides. In another development, PTI’s social media team has been directed to double their efforts on the cyber highway with regard to the Panama campaign in a bid to attract new participants to the party’s upcoming public gatherings in the Punjab.

The party chairman, who took serious notice of poor show at the launch of the Panama commission campaign in Lahore on May 1, has directed the social media team to accelerate its efforts to grab maximum attraction to pull large crowds. The PTI provincial capital show had failed to pull a crowd of even 10,000 as independent reports said there were less than 7,000 participants in Imran Khan’s protest. The security agencies, which always report a little bit more number of the participants to cover the gap of the participants who are outside the main venue, had reported that crowd at Khan’s show was not more than 10,000.