— PTI DG Khan (@PTIDGKOFFICIAL) October 27, 2022
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran on Thursday evening reiterated his calls for the general public to join his party’s ‘Haqiqi Azadi’ long march, saying they would commence from Lahore’s Liberty Chowk at 11 a.m. on Friday (today).
Claiming his movement was beyond politics, he said it was not intended to “topple or bring about any government,” but rather sought “real independence” for the country. In a video message shared on all social media platforms, he said: “Since the creation of Pakistan … when we secured freedom from the British … this is just as big a movement.”
The long march, he stressed, would seek to ensure that all decisions related to Pakistan were taken from within the country, with no “foreign puppets” in decision-making roles. “Secondly, justice. Everyone should be equal before the law and people should be freed through justice,” he continued. “[And] ensuring prosperity through the provision of justice, as you can only achieve prosperity after ensuring rule of law,” he added.
Despite the PTI leader’s urging, the party had yet to commence its long march as of noon on Friday afternoon—an hour after the scheduled time of launch. PTI leaders said they were gathering in convoys and heading toward Liberty Chowk, maintaining the long march would be a great success.
In a press conference, PTI Senior Vice President Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said it was being taken out in the name of journalistic freedom and to protest political victimization. He also appeared to blame the judiciary for the death of journalist Arshad Sharif, claiming he would still be alive if the courts had ensured his fundamental rights.