Tsunami cannot march on an empty stomach!

Source:  Dawn.com Published in Politics on Saturday, August 9, 2014

In keeping with Napoleonic wisdom, it seems the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has taken the adage “an army marches on its stomach” to heart-

Having learned from past experiences, party workers are said to have finalised catering arrangements for the party’s Azadi March, which is expected to roll into the capital on Independence Day.

The PTI plans to provide party supporters and activists – who come all the way to Islamabad for the long march – with subsidised food in anticipation of an extended sit-in in the capital, PTI Punjab North President Sadaqat Ali Abbasi told Dawn.

The party’s local chapter, sources say, has been in touch with a number of known food outlets in the twin cities in this regard and they have been asked to set up food stalls near Parliament House.

Caterers told to prepare food for 5,000 people; party leaders say nearly 100,000 expected to join Azadi March from twin cities alone A well-known restaurant, specialising in Chicken Pulao, has been asked to provide a mobile canteen for deployment at the site of the sit-in.

The outlet has several branches across the twin cities and has been picked for its cost-effectiveness.

Participants can purchase a food packet – which will include fried rice, chicken pieces and shami kebabs – from the canteen at the reduced cost of Rs70 or Rs80, while the difference of Rs50 will be borne by the party itself, a senior PTI leader told Dawn.

He said that the party had reached an agreement with three food outlets but said the hoteliers feared government reprisals if they went ahead with this plan.

“To assuage them, the party decided to transport the food on PTI-hired vehicles, with representatives from each outlet being on hand to collect money from those who would be buying the food,” he said.

The caterers have been asked to ensure that there was no shortage of food for rally participants, adding that initially, 5,000 food packets would be prepared while additional orders would be placed once the extent of the turnout at the venue could be established.

He said that some local leaders had been assigned the task of arranging food for participants in case of an emergency.

The PTI leader said that some PTI leaders were worried about the number of people who would gather in the capital, but the party had asked them to engage the caterers to ensure immediate food supply at the venue.

Abbasi said that the party had formed teams to make arrangements for the participants and each party official would arrange the food packets for 30 people.

To a query about the expected number of participants, he said that more than 100,000 people would join the sit-in from the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad alone.

He said that the food arrangements had been made only with outsiders in mind and did not take Rawalpindi and Islamabad residents into account.

Abbasi said he had been in Khushab on Friday for a local workers’ convention in the district.

“The local administration sealed all the roads going to the venue,” he said.

The party has finalised its arrangements for August 14 and formed teams of workers who will be responsible for bringing people to the venue on Independence Day, he said.

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Written by Aamir Yasin

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