After Receiving NOC, The PTI Organizes A Power Show On The Outskirts Of Islamabad

PTI supporters march from Koral Chowk to Rawat to join long marchers after district administration grants one-time permission and instruct protesters not to enter the Red Zone.

ISLAMABAD: After the district administration granted permission for the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) to hold a gathering in the federal capital, workers from the former ruling party flocked to Rawat to listen to party chief Imran Khan’s address via video link.

PTI workers from various union councils arrived at Koral Chowk, and a rally led by PTI leaders Ali Nawaz Awan and Raja Khurram arrived in Rawat to join the two-week-long march.

Meanwhile, Islamabad police put strict security measures in place, claiming that there are “security concerns and a threat to peace” if the protests enter the Red Zone.

The NOC for the power show

Earlier in the day, the federal capital’s district administration issued a no-objection certificate to the PTI. According to the administration, the permit would be valid for one day only and would cover the route from Koral Chowk to Chak Beli Mor Rawat via Express Highway.

In response to PTI leader Ali Nawaz Awan’s application, the administration approved the request with 35 conditions. The deputy commissioner (DC) informed the PTI leader that the rally was not permitted to change its route, and any deviation from the route would result in the cancellation of the NOC.

Section 144 would continue to be enforced in other areas, and rallies would not be permitted to block any roads or cause damage to public or private property.

They were also told that they could not carry weapons or batons and that citizens’ freedom of movement should not be restricted.

The permission was granted on the condition that no one chanted slogans opposing Pakistan’s state, religion, or ideology. The party was also bound to conduct security checks on participants, and if any violations occurred, Ali Nawaz Awan, who had submitted the request for the NOC, would face legal action.

Mr. Awan told Dawn that it was an impressive show as a large number of city workers arrived at Koral Chowk and Rawat.

It is worth noting that the PTI Islamabad was under fire for failing to hold a single protest in the federal capital since the assassination attempt on party chairman Imran Khan on November 3rd, despite having three lawmakers and the party secretary general from the city.

The party’s protests were limited to Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where it was in power and could not be arrested by police.

Mr. Awan, on the other hand, claimed that the city was completely choked on the day of the assassination attempt on the party chairman. Later, he claimed, a strategy was devised to hold protests at the federal capital’s borders.

Security precautions

The Islamabad police claimed that if the protests entered the Red Zone, there would be security concerns and a threat to peace.

“There is a possibility of a terrorist attack during the rally/and public gathering, which would disrupt the peace of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, as well as other parts of the country,” they added.

Any terrorist activity will provoke the participants of the public gathering due to the possibility of terrorism, according to the officers, who added that a total of 14,018 officers and officials – 4,056 from the capital police, 4,791 FC, 4,675 Rangers, and 497 Sindh police – were deployed in various parts of the capital.

To maintain law and order during the rally, police and other law enforcement officers were equipped with tear gas, rubber bullets, gas masks, pepper guns, and spray paints, according to the security plan.

The officers and personnel stationed at the points were divided into three teams to intercept protestors and make arrests from flanks in the event of a law and order situation, according to the officers.

During the protest, at least 6,721 officers were stationed in the City Zone, while 2,566 officers were stationed in the Rural Zone. Gujar Khan’s Hamid Asghar also contributed to the report.