Showdown fears loom as Imran supporters, Oppn backers march towards Islamabad

Activists from the Opposition party Pakistan Muslim leauge Nawaz (PML-N) take part of anti-government march toward Islamabad from Lahore on March 26, 2022. (Photo by Arif ALI / AFP)

Islamabad: The opposition parties in Pakistan have started their march towards Islamabad in an attempt to counter a planned rally by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz workers leaving from Lahore and Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl activists starting from Dera Ismail Khan, Samaa TV reported.

The PTI, meanwhile, is preparing Islamabad's Parade Ground for its grand rally on Sunday, with thousands of its supporters having left for Islamabad.

Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry claimed that tens of thousands of PTI supporters are already on their way to Islamabad.

The presence of a large number of rival political workers and a possibility of a showdown between them has sparked concerns among Islamabad authorities, who have declared an emergency at Islamabad hospitals while hospitals in Rawalpindi have also been put on alert, Samaa TV reported.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during an interview with Reuters in Islamabad, Pakistan June 4, 2021. REUTERS/Saiyna Bashir/File Photo

The capital city administration has decided to seal the red zone besides issuing a traffic plan.

The Pakistan Peoples Party, meanwhile, has advised the Opposition against holding rallies in Islamabad, saying a clash would allow Imran Khan political "martyrdom".

Opposition leader of Pakistan Muslim league Nawaz (PML-N) Maryam Nawaz Sharif (R), daughter of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his cousin Hamza Shahbaz Sharif (C) waves towards the supporters upon the start of anti-government march toward Islamabad from Lahore on March 26, 2022. (Photo by Arif ALI / AFP)

The PML-N's march is led by Maryam Nawaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz Sharif and is scheduled to arrive in Gujranwala on Saturday night. A large number of PML-N workers gathered in Lahore's Model Town on Saturday afternoon, before leaving for Islamabad using the Grand Trunk (GT) Road.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.