The security arrangements around the Election Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad have been tightened prior to the protest scheduled today by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). The 11-party opposition alliance has vowed to hold a massive gathering outside the ECP premises to protest against alleged electoral rigging by the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.
1800 police officers have been deployed by the federal government to control the law and order situation in the capital, while two platoons of the Punjab Rangers are reported to have been deployed around the ECP.
Meanwhile, the main entrance of the ECP has been sealed by barbed wire, while walkthrough gates have also been installed in the Red Zone area for pedestrians.
The PDM is expected to meet at alliance head and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman’s residence for lunch prior to the protest, before gathering at the Kashmir Chowk and heading towards the ECP aboard a container.
Pakistan People’s Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will not be attending today’s protest. He was also absent from the meeting of the PDM steering committee held yesterday at Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman’s residence to plan the alliance’s agenda for the protest. The meeting was attended by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz on special invitation.
Meanwhile, the federal government announced that it will not obstruct the protest in any manner today.