Security around ECP tightened ahead of PDM's protest rally

Security around ECP tightened ahead of PDM's protest rally

Islamabad (Web Desk): Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) is all set to stage a protest rally outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) office in Islamabad today (Tuesday) against the delay in the decision of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) foreign funding case.

The security has been heightened around the ECP to avoid any untoward incident during the protest rally.

 A heavy police contingent has been deployed at all entry and exit points of the Red Zone.

In a statement, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said that all rallies headed towards the ECP will converge at Kashmir Chowk at 1pm. She urged party workers and supporters to make their way to the protest.

On Monday, the leadership of the 11-party opposition alliance PDM met in Islamabad at the residence of Jamiat-Ulma-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to review the protest strategy.

Addressing the media after the meeting alongside PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz, Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the PTI foreign case cannot be delayed any further and urged the commission to announce a verdict soon.

He said that the PDM will stage a massive protest in front of the ECP.

The PDM chief said that the decisions against elected prime ministers were given in a few months’ time but verdict against a selected premier had been pending for over six years.

Meanwhile, Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad has said no seminary student or banned militia will be allowed to participate in the PDM protest.

Speaking at a news conference, he said that the ECP is a constitutional institution and the government will not let anyone to intimidate it.

The interior minister urged the Ulema and religious scholars to comply with the law and avoid using their students for politicking, which is even against the sanctity of their stature and warned the banned Ansar-ul-Islam members of action if they were spotted in the protest.

He said the government is taking all precautionary measures and hoped that the PDM leadership will abide by the law. 

Sheikh Rashid said that the PDM has lost its momentum as its all member parties are now contesting by-polls and Senate elections, backtracking from their decision of boycott.

Moreover, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said that the government had not placed any obstacles for the opposition's protest.

In a tweet, he said the smooth flow of traffic on the roads of Islamabad is a proof of Imran Khan's pro-democratic personality.

Shibli said that the nation has not forgotten when the PML-N government had subjected the peaceful PTI protestors to violence.

The information minister said that the nation can also never forget the Model Town tragedy.