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PTI to resume ‘Azadi march’ from Wazirabad today

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The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is to resume its march towards the capital today, exactly a week after it was halted following an assassination attempt on party chief and former prime minister Imran Khan.

Senior party leader Fawad Chaudhry in a tweet announced that the PTI will “start the journey from the same place in Wazirabad where the assassination attempt on Imran Khan was made”

He also said that Imran will address the rally via video link at 4:30 pm today.

Read Food shortage imminent amid PTI protests

The long march was halted last week after the party chief sustained bullet wounds to his leg following an armed attack on his container, as he led the ‘Haqeeqi Azadi March’ in Wazirabad.

While he recovered from his wounds, the PTI chief had announced that he would not be joining in person but nonetheless said that the party will resume the march “from the place in Wazirabad where I [Imran] and 11 other people were shot, and where Moazzam was martyred,” he had added while citing the name of PTI supporter Moazzam Gondal, who was killed in the attack.

It was later clarified that the march will take off at 2 pm on Thursday (today).

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A day earlier, the party had again changed its plans for the long march by splitting it in two.

The first procession will continue from Wazirabad and will be led by PTI Vice Chairperson Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

The second rally will depart from Toba Tek Singh  on Friday (tomorrow), with the party’s secretary general Asad Umar leading it. It will travel from Toba Tek Singh to Jhang and then to Faisalabad.

The two groups are to converge before entering Chakwal.

The announcement for the resumption of the long march came as the country was rattled by protests by PTI supporters who spilled onto the streets in various cities against the assassination attempt at the PTI chief’s life.

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Road closures

Citizens and commuters face difficulties as PTI continues its sit-in for the fourth day.

According to Express News, protesters have set up protest camps on five main highways including Murree Road in Rawalpindi. The main and most used highway was completely blocked from Shamsabad, due to which citizens were facing severe problems.

Those traveling to Islamabad from Murree Road are facing inconvenience while people going to offices and other destinations have been facing traffic jams in large numbers.

Read more PTI can tweak NAB law when it comes to power: SC

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The traffic police have issued an alert to the citizens saying that Murree Road was a diversion near the Shamsabad stop due to the PTI’s protest.

Alternatively, Syedpur Road, Commercial Market Kuri Road can be used. Old Airport Road was also open for traffic from both directions.

According to the traffic police, Main Peshawar Road and Mall Road was also open for traffic, while IJP Road was closed for all types of traffic towards Islamabad. Alternatively, Main Peshawar Road, Westridge, Chauhar Chowk, Marble Factory Road, Golra Mor, Srinagar Highway were open for traffic.

Meanwhile, educational institutions in Rawalpindi remained closed for the third day today despite district administrations ordering all educational institutions in Islamabad to remain open as all the roads inside the federal capital were open. The district administration has also issued a notification regarding keeping educational institutions open.





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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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