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PTI Parliamentarians Defy Section 144, Demand Release of Imran Khan and Party Leaders

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In a bold display of defiance, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) parliamentarians disregarded section 144 on Wednesday and organized a rally from the Punjab Assembly to Regal Chowk, calling for the release of the party’s founding chairman, Imran Khan, and all other incarcerated party leaders and workers. The protest was described as the formal launch of a sustained movement, with plans for a long march in the days ahead, as highlighted by opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly, Malik Ahmad Khan Bhachar, who led the march. This bold act of defiance demonstrated the party’s courage and determination in the face of adversity.

Despite a heavy police presence, the rally proceeded without any of the parliamentarians being taken into custody, with the atmosphere heightened by the presence of party flags and fervent slogans. In a statement to the media, Mr. Bhachar emphasized the courage displayed by party leaders and workers who took to the streets, underscoring the determination to sustain the protests until the release of the incarcerated PTI members.

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Simultaneously, PTI chairman Gohar Khan led a rally of national assembly parliamentarians from Lahore High Court, converging with the Punjab Assembly members at the Regal Chowk, thereby amplifying the impact of the demonstration. Meanwhile, a PTI leader expressed the party’s vigilance regarding potential police action, particularly in relation to the violation of section 144 by parliamentarians marching on The Mall.

The context for the protest lay in the imposition of section 144 by the Punjab government on June 21, which had prohibited rallies, processions, protests, and sit-ins across the province for a period of seven days. As the protest unfolded, the PTI’s courageous display of unity and determination underscored the party’s unwavering commitment to achieving the release of their incarcerated members, demonstrating their dedication and persistence in the face of adversity.

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