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Islamabad's Red zone sealed ahead of PTI rally

Police start impounding containers to close sensitive area

ISLAMABAD – The police have started impounding containers to seal the red zone in the federal capital before Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s sit-in at D-Chowk against the alleged rigging in the general elections.


Sources said police stations of Tarnol, Sabzi Mandi and Sehala areas have impounded dozens of containers to place them on all entry and exit points of Islamabad. After brief protests, the government announced Rs 10,000 daily rent to per seized container.


PTI Chairman Imran Khan has announced a rally at D-Chowk on May 11 against what he called ‘theft of public mandate.’ He has vowed to show the power of his ‘tsunami supporters’ in the federal capital. Keeping in view any untoward situation, the Interior Affairs Ministry has allowed PTI to stage the protest with a long list of conditions.


Minister for Interior Affairs Chaudhry Nisar Ali demanded that no one would enter the red zone. Vehicles of the rally-goers cannot go beyond Kulsoom Plaza in the Blue Area. The stage would be set 100 yards away from the Express Chowk. No weapons of any kind will be brought to the meeting. Routes will be pre-designated for people coming from Azad Jammu Kashmir, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.


Vehicles will be denied entry if anyone riding on them was found carrying firearms or guns were found hidden inside. Bringing minors or infants to the public meeting is banned as children could be used as human shield. Separate enclosures will be set up for women. Private shipping containers will not be engaged by force or for free.


Imran Khan is pursuing a vigorous campaign against what he claimed irregularities in last year’s general elections, blaming the ruling PML-N for massive rigging in Punjab. PTI, which rules Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with a coalition partner has challenged results of several constituencies in Punjab and called for recounting of votes, initially in four constituencies of the province.

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