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PTI to announce Rawalpindi arrival date soon

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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) leader and former information minister Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday said that the tentative date for the party’s long march entering Rawalpindi may be announced in the next 72 hours.

Addressing a press conference with fellow PTI leaders, Shireen Mazari and Zulfi Bukhari, Fawad said “the tentative date for when hundreds of thousands of people will head towards Rawalpindi” is likely to be announced within the upcoming few days.

Read SC order ‘unknowingly’ violated: Imran submits reply in contempt case

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Keeping his hopes high, he said “by the grace of God, this gathering will be the biggest political rally in history”.

Meanwhile, PTI’s “Haqeeqi Azadi March” is set to rally in Jhelum, Sargodha, Mardan and Timergara today (Wednesday).

Shortly earlier, the party’s Secretary General Asad Umar was welcomed by crowds in Kot Momin.

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A massive rally was also held at Bajaur where Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and former federal minister Murad Saeed were to address the gathering.

According to sources, PTI chief Imran Khan is expected to arrive in the garrison city from Lahore on November 19 or 20.

Arrangements in place

The arrangements for his accommodation in Rawalpindi have been entrusted to a committee comprising MNAs Amir Mehmood Kiyani, Asad Umar and Ghulam Sarwar Khan.

A new ‘bomb-proof highly secure special container’ has been prepared for the former premier which will be delivered to the garrison city at midnight between Thursday and Friday.

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The PTI chairman has also been proposed to stay in Punjab House in Rawalpindi, however, the proposal has not been approved yet.

Read More ‘No foul play’: PTI denies businessman’s claims about receiving Toshakhana gifts

According to the security plan, police commandos will be deployed on the roofs of the plazas and markets on both sides of Murree Road while no one will be allowed to stand or pass within 30 feet distance of the PTI chief’s container.

Hundreds of washrooms have also been built near Shamsabad for participants of the long march.

The Murree Road from Mureer Chowk to Faizabad will be closed for general traffic on the arrival of the participants of the long march in Rawalpindi, while the alternative traffic route on Rawal Road, Islamabad Expressway will remain open for the traffic.

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A heavy contingent of police and rangers will be deployed on the metro bus track. Law enforcement agencies have assumed duties in the most sensitive areas of the cantonment.

A control room has been set up to monitor the march’s participants while a separate special control room has been set up in the garrison area as well.

Cellular and internet services will be suspended on the arrival of long march participants in the garrison city while metro bus service will also be stopped.

It has also been decided to carry out aerial and drone surveillance of the participants. Emergency has been imposed in all hospitals in the city and cantonment area while all petrol pumps on the route of the long march will be completely closed.

Also Read Lahore CCPO to lead JIT on Imran attack

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According to highly reliable sources, there is also a possibility of major arrests and detentions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

All public and private schools across the city will be closed from Friday while wholesale vegetable, fruit and grain markets are being closed. It has also been decided to close the big commercial centre.

The commissioner, deputy commissioner, RPO and CPO visited the office of the sensitive organisation this week and gave a detailed briefing about the arrival of the long march to the garrison city besides receiving necessary instructions.

The Rawalpindi police have been instructed to be on alert to deal with any kind of situation. The police have also been provided with a large quantity of tear gas shells and rubber bullets.





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Pakistan

Imran’s right of defence struck out in defamation case

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ISLAMABAD:

Additional District Judge Lahore Chaudhry Muhammad Asif struck out the right of defence of former prime minister since concerned interrogatories of the plaintiff were not submitted on Thursday.

“This court has been left with no option except to strike out the right of defence of the defendant (Imran Khan) in this case due to non-submission of requisite replies by the defendant regarding concerned interrogatories of the plaintiff. So, the right of defence of the defendant is hereby struck out in this case accordingly,” the order stated.

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The court asked the plaintiff to submit a list of witnesses on November 29.

It has been learned that the court has so far conducted 78 hearings of the case.

The order stated that the counsel for the defendant submitted an application for adjournment on the ground that the defendant was going to file a revised petition against the order of the court regarding the dismissal of concerned objections of the defendant.

Also read: ‘No objections’ to Imran’s helicopter landing at Parade Ground: GHQ

“From the perusal of record, it reveals that various reasonable opportunities have been provided to defendant to submit the requisite replies to concerned interrogatories of the plaintiff but the defendant has not done the needful,” it stated.

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“Vide previous order dated 17.11.2022, one more opportunity was granted to the defendant in this regard with the clarification that in case of submission of requisite replies from the defendant’s side regarding concerned interrogatories of the plaintiff on the next date, the right of defence of the defendant shall be struck out. No lawful justification exits for the grant of further adjournment,” it added.

The court rejected the adjournment plea of Imran’s counsel.

According to details, the defamation suit states that Imran started uttering false and malicious statements against the plaintiff (Shehbaz) that the latter offered Rs10 billion to the former through a common friend in exchange of withdrawing the case of Panama Papers pending before the Supreme Court (SC).

Also read: President Alvi in Lahore to consult Imran over COAS appointment

​​​It pleads that the baseless and defamatory statements by the defendant widely circulated by media lowered the integrity of the plaintiff and caused him extreme mental torture, agony and anxiety. The court has been requested to issue a decree for recovery of Rs 10 billion as compensation for the publication of defamatory content in favour of the plaintiff.

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In his written statement, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief states that one of his friends told him that someone known to him and also the Sharif family approached him with an offer to pay billions of rupees if he could convince him to stop pursuing the Panama Papers case.

Imran says that he disclosed the incident for the consumption of the public at large and in the interest of the public good does not constitute any defamation.





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Pakistan to send armed helicopter unit to UN peacekeeping mission

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UNITED NATIONS:

Pakistan and Bangladesh will each be sending an armed helicopter unit to the UN peacekeeping operations in Mali, which faces serious problems as several countries have withdrawn or announced plans to pull out their personnel, a UN spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Spokesman Farhan Haq said that India will supply a utility helicopter unit to the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA, and all three are expected to be deployed by March next year.

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“These provide much-needed support to our forces and are critical for early warning and rapid response to protect civilians,” the spokesman told reporters at the regular noon briefing at the UN headquarters in New York.

“The UN continues to discuss with member states the deployment of new assets and plans to fill longer-standing gaps in addition to those resulting from recent announcements” of withdrawals, he said.

Set up in 2013, MINUSMA has 17,622 personnel helping the Malian government combat terrorists operating in the country.

MINUSMA is one of the deadliest operations having claimed the lives of 292 peacekeepers.

France completed its withdrawal earlier this year and it was followed by Egypt in August.

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Germany said that it was withdrawing its personnel, who numbered 595 in the latest UN roster, from MINUSMA by May next year.

Also read: Who is country’s new army chief Asim Munir?

Britain is also pulling out its 249 personnel.

Ivory Coast also said that it would discontinue the participation of its personnel, who numbered 898, in MINUSMA when the current deployment ends because of a separate dispute with the Mali government over the arrest of its soldiers who went there on a mission unconnected to the UN.

Despite the dangerous nature of the Minusma, Pakistani military doctors serving in Mopti, a town in the fifth administrative region of Mali. have continued to serve, earning praise for their work. They operate a state-of-the-art hospital staffed with 75 medical personnel, including 10 women and 65 men, according to the UN.

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The hospital operates 24 hours a day, every day, and they are always on alert. All specialities are covered, from pharmacy to gynaecology. However, its main purpose is to perform life-saving and urgent surgery when peacekeepers are injured, it was pointed out.





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Imran urges ‘all Pakistanis to participate’ in PTI long march

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Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Thursday urged all Pakistanis to participate in his party’s much-hyped long march on Saturday (Nov26) in what appears to be his final showdown with the incumbent government to force it to announce early election date.

“Dear Pakistanis, I want all of you to participate in our haqeeqi long march in Pindi at 1pm on Saturday,” he said in a short video statement.

Imran, who was removed from power through a vote of no confidence in April, said that only a nation which has justice in it will get real freedom. “When there is justice, there are rights. When there are rights, a nation is free. Only an independent nation is prosperous,” he went on to say.

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Read more: Interior ministry warns PTI of threats, urges postponing Pindi march

The former premier said that the nation will not stay silent until it gets real freedom. “I am coming for you despite my [health] condition and all of you need to come to Pindi for me,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, senior PTI leader Asad Umar presided over a meeting regarding the party’s preparation for the long march in Rawalpindi. Senior PTI leadership including Umar Ayub, Shibli Faraz, Ali Nawaz and others participated in the meeting.

The meeting discussed the overall preparations for the long march in Rawalpindi. The security plan, long march route and other significant matters came under discussion during the meeting.

The meeting was briefed that a caravan had left from Karachi for Rawalpindi whereas two others were ready to begin their journey to the garrison city from Quetta and Gilgit-Baltistan.

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A briefing was also given in the meeting regarding the accommodation of the participants.

Issues regarding the provision of all basic needs including food and accommodation to the participants of the march were also discussed in the meeting.

“The nation is fully united and eager to achieve real freedom,” Umar said, adding that the party would welcome caravans from all over Pakistan in Rawalpindi.

“The captain [Imran Khan] will lead the ocean of people in Rawalpindi on November 26,” he further said.





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