The exact venue of the PTI’s rally remains in question albeit the Rawalpindi administration allowed the party in writing to hold the gathering at Faizabad on Nov 26 (Saturday) but directed it to vacate the area by night.
On the other hand, the Islamabad administration again extended the imposition of Section 144 for two more months in the city, banning all kinds of gatherings of five or more persons, processions, and rallies at any public place. The main arteries connected the federal capital with Rawalpindi are also to be closed by placing containers on Thursday night.
Separately, top officials of provincial governments, during a meeting chaired by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, assured the Centre of full support if Federation is attacked.
During the meeting, Rana Sana said, “It is the Constitutional responsibility of the provincial governments to prevent the illegal act of an attack on the Federation by a political party.”
On the other hand, PML-N senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told media persons that Rana Sana would deal with PTI Chairman Imran Khan in case of any illegal and unconstitutional actions.
In his reaction, PTI leader Asad Umar, talking to reporters in Lahore, blasted the Rawalpindi deputy commissioner and said the people reaching the city were not coming from Afghanistan.
Faizabad, no Faizabad
Meanwhile, the district administration again stopped the PTI from placing the stage at Faizabad on Friday afternoon after allowing it to do so amid the terror threat issued by the spy and law enforcement agencies.
Earlier, the PTI had managed to get permission for stage at the Faizabad junction near Islamabad after the party decided to change the venue of stage for the rally amid the Rawalpindi administration’s strict conditions and the tough stance taken by the federal government.
They had even again started to set the stage between the areas of Faizabad and Shamsabad on Muree Road, which connects the twin cities.
But now it is still not clear where the stage would be placed for Imran to address his supporters.
Earlier, Geo News reported, which quoted PTI leader Shibli Faraz, that the stage was being shifted to Rehman – two kilometres from Faizabad – which is also located on the Murree Road.
The Islamabad administration is creating hurdles, claimed Shibli while explaining the reason behind the decision.
Citing the reasons, a notification issued by the Rawalpindi deputy commissioner, containing 56 conditions, says the England cricket team is arriving the city for the first Test of the three-match series. It also mentions that Faizabad is a busy area and a large gathering is a security risk as different law enforcement agencies have cited security threats.
The district administration said the party would be responsible for any loss of life during the political event being organised in connection with the PTI long march and drones are banned for media coverage.
Moreover, the PTI has been directed that only the prescribed route would be used for the rally and barred PTI Chairman Imran Khan from using a sunroof car before and after the gathering.
Also, the Allama Iqbal Park will not be used by any workers for staying there, adding that no one would be allowed to chant anti-state slogans.
Meanwhile, the notification about imposition of Section 144 in Islamabad says certain segments of society were planning to organise unlawful assemblies, including processions, 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.