Lahore: Former prime minister Imran Khan addressed thousands of his supporters in Lahore in his first rally since he was attacked and injured in November last year.
The rally was held amid a crackdown against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as the police arrested dozens of its workers and blocked roads to prevent Khan’s supporters from reaching the Minar-e-Pakistan.
While PTI supporters said the Lahore Jalsa broke all the previous records in terms of attendance, opponents mocked the party for failing to gather people.
But independent analysts said the PTI staged an impressive show amid the crackdown and other restriction put in place by the caretaker Punjab government.
Journalist Salman Masood, who also reports for The New York Times, said, “Supporters of both sides spend endless time debating and disputing the numbers. What matters is political momentum and how political objectives are achieved.”
He added, “Numbers at the rally are really inconsequential and always disputed by opposing sides as I noted earlier. But it’s also a fact that crackdowns, blockades, and terror alert threats, don’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm of PTI supporters.”
TRT journalist Mubashir Zaidi said the rally was impressive.
A Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supporter said only 20,000 people attended the rally.
Meanwhile, both PTI and PDM supporters posted videos and pictures to back their claims.