PTI Held Historic Virtual Rally Despite Internet Blockade
LAHORE: In the face of an internet blockade affecting major cities in the country, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) achieved a groundbreaking milestone in the nation’s political history by hosting its inaugural virtual public gathering on social media platforms on Sunday night.
Despite what many claim to be an “internet crackdown” targeting the demonstration of political strength, PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan addressed an estimated one million concurrent users globally, spanning Asia, Europe, and America.
During the virtual event, the PTI leader unveiled the party’s 150-page manifesto, pledging comprehensive reforms in the judiciary, executive, police, and policies for overseas Pakistanis.
The party is set to officially announce its manifesto following the release of the election schedule. However, as anticipation for the virtual rally grew, the internet monitoring service Netblocks reported widespread disruptions on major social media platforms across Pakistan, including X, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
The disruption, occurring just before the scheduled 9 pm rally, resulted in difficulties accessing these platforms in key cities like Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad. Users also reported a noticeable slowdown in internet services during this period.
Addressing the rally, Barrister Gohar Khan revealed that over 180 alleged cases had been filed against PTI’s founding chairman and former premier, Imran Khan.
“The party had to take this interim measure to nominate me as chairman to preserve the party’s election identity, as advised by the founder chairman.
I am speaking on behalf of Imran Khan,” he stated. Barrister Gohar Khan once again appealed to the Supreme Court to nominate Returning Officers (RO) and District Returning Officers (DRO) from the judiciary, expressing the party’s lack of confidence in the caretaker government due to its recent actions against PTI.
He also highlighted double standards in the country’s judicial system, pointing out the differential treatment of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan.
PTI’s social media team featured a video-recorded message from Imran Khan in which he appealed to overseas Pakistanis to contribute to PTI for the upcoming general elections. Imran Khan emphasized the need for financial support to secure victory in the significant election.
PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub announced the launch of a donation website (PakistanBadlo.Overseas.com) and urged people worldwide to generously contribute to their beloved party for the forthcoming elections.
He commemorated the inaugural virtual public gathering in honor of the fallen heroes of the Pakistan Army, Rangers, Police, PTI martyrs, incarcerated women, and all those who endured hardships advocating for the right side of history.
He called upon the citizens of Pakistan to turn out in force on February 8 and cast their votes in favor of PTI, asserting that this choice would pave the way for a brighter future for the nation.
He emphasized that, through the strength of their votes, the people of Pakistan hold the key not only to liberate Imran Khan but also to reinstate him as the prime minister, shaping the destiny of the country.
He underscored that with the power of the vote, the people of Pakistan will level the playing field on February 8, which is currently uneven for PTI.
He also paid tribute to PTI women, including Dr. Yasmin Rashid, Aliya Hamza, Tayyaba Raja, and others, who faced hardships in jail, emphasizing that these individuals were fighting for the bright future of Pakistan, not merely for seats and ministries.
Several senior leaders of the party, including Senator Azam Khan Swati, Ali Amin Gandapur, former Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Qasim Khan Suri, Hammad Azhar, Rauf Hasan, Zartaj Gul Wazir, Ali Muhammad Khan, and others, addressed the public gathering.
Initially, it was announced that the virtual public gathering would last for three hours, but it concluded at 1:30 am after four and a half hours.