ISLAMABAD: The government came into action on Thursday in a bid to make unsuccessful the long march and protest rallies planned by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) on forthcoming Independence Day.
Besides harassment of the PTI and PAT workers and their supporters, the capital city and Punjab Police have started impounding their motorbikes in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
The Interior Ministry has imposed Section 144 in the capital city, which would be completely sealed ahead of PTI’s long march. According to police sources, entry into the Islamabad premises carrying banners and placards would not be allowed. The interior ministry sources said that more than 20,000 personnel of Islamabad police, Frontier Constabulary (FC) and Punjab Constabulary would be deployed to stop the PTI protesters.
The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by the Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. The interior minister, according to officials, has directed Islamabad’s commissioner to impose a ban on holding any kind of rally or public gathering in Islamabad. He also directed the law enforcement to carry an intensive search operation of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad and its suburbs to reduce chances of any militant incident as well.
The cellular phone service, according to ministry’s officials, will remain suspended on Independence Day in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. According to inside sources about 2,000 containers would be used to seal all entry and exit points.
Meanwhile, the PTI leadership has directed its workers to besiege police stations and block roads in case if it continues with detaining them or seizing their motorbikes. According to PTI office bearers, around 300 of their organizers involved in preparation of the “Azadi March” have received threats from the Capital and Rawalpindi police. The police sources, however, informed Daily Times about government instructions not to show any leniency particularly with PAT leaders and workers. A senior official of the City District Government of Rawalpindi reportedly has sent a list of the expected PTI march workers to the special branch. Many of the PTI local leaders and workers have gone underground to avoid arrests.
The party leadership has asked its workers to store petrol in case if fuel stations were ordered to shut down. Among the prominent PTI leaders who were threatened by law enforcement agencies at their homes include, PTI’s Information Secretary Dr Shireen Mazari, Imran Khan’s Principal Staff Officer Naeemul Haq, Joint Secretary Rawalpindi Chapter Jamshed Mughal, Mohammad Mazhar and Ali Awan.
However, a senior official of Islamabad Police has denied allegations levelled by PTI and PAT workers but confirmed that the law enforcement agencies were trying to collect their contact numbers.
According to the plan prepared by PTI, in case if Imran Khan was put under house arrest, then the entire road network across the twin cities will be blocked. The PTI workers were visiting door-to-door inviting people to take part in the Azadi March.
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