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Days after attack, Imran Khan's party to resume long march on Nov 10

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Islamabad, Nov 07: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's long march, which was suspended after the failed assassination attempt on party chief Imran Khan last week, will resume on Thursday, two senior party leaders said on Monday.

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    Speaking to party workers at Zaman Park in Lahore, Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced that the long march will resume on Thursday from the same location where the attack on Khan took place.

    Representational Image

    Another senior leader Faisal Javed Khan also said that the party's long march will resume on November 10.

    This is the third time that the party has changed the date of the long march which came to a halt after the failed assassination bid on 70-year-old Khan.

    First, the party had said the march will resume on Tuesday, but later changed the date to Wednesday.

    Fawad Chaudhry, former information minister and Senior Vice President of the party, earlier in a tweet said that the party's long march will resume on Wednesday instead of Tuesday at 2pm local time.

    The march was launched on October 28 from Lahore with the aim to culminate in Islamabad on November 11 but it was stalled on November 3 at Wazirabad after gunmen fired at Khan's container-mounted on a truck, killing one person and injuring at least 11 others, including the PTI chairman.

    Qureshi also said that despite 72 hours, an FIR of the attack on Khan had still not been registered.

    "The chief justice of the Supreme Court has intervened and instructed that the complaint should be registered within 24 hours," he said.

    "The narrative of Imran Khan sahab is very clear […] that my complainant has reached the police and it is clear what my position is," Qureshi said, adding that the party's utmost priority at the moment was the FIR.

    The issue of FIR was delayed due to differences between Khan and the provincial government as the former wanted to nominate Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Maj Gen Faisal Naseer in the complaint.

    The Punjab government and the provincial police are reluctant to include the name of the serving army general in the FIR.

    The delay in the FIR registration has stalled proper investigation into the crime.

    Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial earlier ordered the police chief of Punjab to register the FIR in 24 hours and warned of taking suo motu action if his orders were not implemented.

    Separately, the Ministry of Interior asked the Punjab government to immediately register the FIR of the firing incident, saying the report must be "based on merits and not on cojectures or speculative allegations".

    In a letter addressed to the provincial chief secretary and Punjab inspector general dated November 5, the ministry termed the delay in the registration of the FIR a "lacklustre response of the Punjab government to the unfortunate incident".

    "The delay is grossly illegal and has caused irreparable damage to prosecute the real accused," the letter stated, adding that the case was "mishandled" by the Punjab government, creating a law and order situation in the province.

    Khan, who is currently recovering from his injuries, was still holding consultations with his party leaders about the registration of FIR at his residence in Zaman Park area of Lahore. He was discharged from the hospital on Sunday after undergoing successful surgery.

    Qureshi told a large public gathering at Clock Tower Chowk in Faisalabad on Sunday that Khan had asked him to lead the march in his place. He said that even if he is not totally recovered, Khan will participate in the long march in Rawalpindi, the Dawn newspaper reported.

    He said that the people of Faisalabad and the entire country demand that Prime Minister Sharif and Interior Minister Sanaullah quit since they are the real planners of the attack on Khan in Wazirabad.

    Meanwhile, the PTI supporters once again resorted to protests by closing main roads of the major cities on Monday.

    The major disturbance was witnessed in Rawalpindi where the main Murree Road and Peshawar Roads were blocked. Commuters faced problems, especially those travelling to pick their children from schools as the start of the protests coincided with the closing of educational institutions.

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