Monday July 15, 2024

Section 144 imposed in Islamabad

By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir & Mumtaz Alvi
October 28, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday imposed Section 144 with immediate effect banning political meetings, rallies and protests in Islamabad ahead of a planned march of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on November 2.

The ban will remain in force for at least two months, said the Federal Ministry of Interior in a statement.After the imposition of Section 144, police in a crackdown on PTI youth convention in Islamabad on Thursday arrested over one hundred activists for violation of the rule. Police transferred the arrested PTI workers through police vans to unknown location and sealed the hall where the convention was being held.

According to the additional deputy commissioner, the action was taken over imposition of Section 144. The political organisation has claimed that over 200 supporters were unlawfully taken into custody by the police.

PTI leader Asad Umar while talking to the media said state injustice cannot stop the party from protesting and the government is afraid of PTI’s democratic protest. Asad was of the view that there is no democracy in Pakistan. He said the government has proved that there is no democracy in Pakistan, rather it is a monarchy.

PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi alleged that the government had arrested hundreds of party workers and police tortured the female workers of the party as well.

Qureshi asserted that he had telephoned the deputy commissioner around three commissioner around three hours ago and informed him about the ongoing convention, responding to which the officer assured him of contacting him back in a while to clear standing of the department on the matter.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Asad Umar were to address the function, but they could not and wondered under what law, the police were  resorting to violence against peaceful party workers, who did not carry arms or even batons. They billed the police action as the real face of dictators.

Meanwhile, a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif decided to keep all options to tackle the PTI sit-in in Islamabad on November 02. Earlier, in a meeting with Defence Minister of Qatar Khalid bin Muhammad Al-Attiyah here at the Prime Minister House, Nawaz Sharif proposed setting up of joint venture between Pakistan, Qatar and Turkey for manufacturing military equipment. 

“Our relationship with Qatar means a lot to us and you can count on Pakistan as your closest ally and brotherly state,” he said. The defence minister extended condolences, on his behalf and on behalf of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, on the loss of precious human lives in the terrorist attack on Police Training Centre Quetta. He said that the terrorist attack was most condemnable and the government and people of Qatar stand by their Pakistani brethren in this hour of grief and sorrow. 

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Secretary to the Prime Minister (SPM) Fawad Hasan Fawad, Qatar ambassador for Pakistan Saqr Bin Mubarak Al-Mansouri and Secretary Defence Lieutenant General (R) Zamirul Hasan were also present in the meeting.

Acknowledging the feeling of the Qatari defence minister for offering condolences, Nawaz Sharif said that the attack was most condemnable which resulted into the loss of innocent lives. The prime minister said that Pakistan and Qatar enjoy strong brotherly relationship which will be further strengthened into sustained economic cooperation for the benefits of both the countries. 

The prime minister said that Pakistan, Qatar and Turkey can set up joint ventures for undertaking defence related manufacturing of military equipment. Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah said that Qatar sees Pakistan as a strategic partner and every effort would be made to make this relationship second to none. He further stated that after concluding the LNG project during the PM’s last visit to Qatar, the relationship between the two brotherly states has grown into a much stronger economic cooperation. “With the assistance and cooperation of Pakistan, we want to improve our military hardware to be prepared for the uncertain threat of terrorism; prevailing in the region,” added the defence minister. He further said that Qatar would be establishing training academy for countering the unconventional enemy of terrorism and would be seeking the services and expertise of the Pakistani instructors to impart training courses there. The minister said that the mutual cooperation between Qatar and Pakistan, led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, will see new heights in the times to come. “We are desirous of buying Super Mushshak and JF-17 Thunder aircraft from Pakistan and also want to set up military cooperation and production of equipment in Qatar with the assistance of Pakistan and Turkey,” said the minister.

The prime minister termed the present visit of the Qatari defence minister as highly productive as Pakistan is ready to support Qatar in all fields. Regarding the trilateral cooperation among Pakistan, Qatar and Turkey, the prime minister highlighted that Pakistan and Turkey have ever increasing relationship since Pakistan came into being.