Tuesday October 03, 2023

Days ahead of PTI march, Section 144 reimposed in Islamabad for two months

Protest to pose threat to public property, could lead to riots or altercations, says ICT admin

By Web Desk
November 24, 2022
Paramilitary soldiers stand guard outside the Supreme Court building in Islamabad. — AFP/File
Paramilitary soldiers stand guard outside the Supreme Court building in Islamabad. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: District Administration Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Thursday once again enforced Section 144 in the city for a period of two months, with immediate effect, two days before PTI’s long march hits the federal capital.

The action seems to be a part of the state's strategy to safeguard the seat of the government from any possible disorder as the PTI continues to claim their Islamabad show of power will draw the biggest crowd ever in the country's history.

“The additional district magistrate ICT prohibited all kinds of gatherings of five or more persons, processions, and rallies at any public place within the limits of district Islamabad, including the Red Zone by invoking Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC),” an official notification said.

Meanwhile, Shibli Faraz, a senior PTI leader, Thursday accused the collation government of creating hurdles to the party’s November 26 rally in Rawalpindi.

Talking to journalists, the PTI’s senator said the government had tied the PTI’s public meeting to 37 conditions, which was unfair.

“Does the constitution not allow the PTI to hold a rally,” asked Shibli Faraz while rejecting the conditions.

The notification further added that certain segments of society were planning to organise unlawful assemblies including processions within the jurisdiction of ICT which would disrupt [normal activities] at public places and endanger human life and put the safety and security of citizenry at risk.

“It will pose a threat to public property and could lead to a riot or an altercation including a sectarian riot within the ICT,” it added.

Thus, it stressed, immediate prevention and speedy remedy were required, and these directions were necessary to protect public life and property.

On Wednesday, DC Rawalpindi Captain (Retd) Shoaib urged PTI leader Asad Umar to hold their protest sit-in away from sensitive installations.

During a meeting, Umar assured the official to discuss this issue with PTI Chairman Imran Khan, sources told Geo News.

DC Rawalpindi, however, confirmed that the final decision regarding the alternative place for PTI’s protest demonstration was yet to be decided.

“So far no permission has been granted yet for the protest and sit-in,” he said, adding that the location will be mentioned in the permission letter.

The official revealed that most probably the PTI will be allowed to stage a protest near Allama Iqbal park.