Imran Khan’s absence from march fuels speculation

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chair­man Imran Khan’s sudden disappearance from the party’s long march, soon after the sunset and party’s Secretary General Asad Umar announcing that Khan has left for Lahore to attend a “very important meeting”, left the media and the participants speculating, local media reported.

Earlier, the march had begun its second, but brief, leg from Shahdara with Khan continuing to hit out at two spy agency officers he has been referring to as “Dirty Harry”, calling them “savage”, and demanded the army chief investigate them, Dawn reported.

PTI leaders Fawad Chaudhry and Punjab President Yasmin Rashid denied the party chief had left for any meeting and insisted it was a pre-decided SOP that the march would not move in the dark owing to “security reasons”.

Amid rising speculation about talks underway between the PTI chief and the powers that be after his sudden departure from the procession, Imran Khan himself came on record to “rubbish” the rumours.

In only so many words, he tweeted: “For all those spreading rumours about my meeting in Lahore, the reason we returned was because Lahore was closer and we had already decided not to move at night. The only demand I have had for six months is date for early fair and free elections. That will be the only demand if talks are to be held,” Dawn reported.

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