- Sources says govt and PTI have agreed to allow Nov 30 rally in Red Zone if Khan keeps the show non-violent and not extend rally to a sit-in
- Interior minister says peaceful rally will be allowed, nobody will be allowed to ransack govt, state buildings
Pakistan Today has learnt that the Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) government and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership have agreed on a “quiet understanding” over the venue of November 30 procession in the federal capital, as the government has “agreed to allow staging the procession in the Red Zone at D-Chowk” while PTI has promised not to create a law and order situation or extend the procession into a sit-in.
Interior Ministry sources told Pakistan Today that both the sides have agreed to keep the November 30 rally a “peaceful affair”. The venue would be moved a bit towards the Blue Area; PTI would make the stage towards the Parliament House while the participants will be accommodated on the Blue Area side, sources added.
“The government has planned not to stop the PTI workers and no one would be harassed or arrested on or before November 30. However, if the protesters violate the agreement, police would be free to use force and the PTI leadership would be held responsible for the violence,” the sources said, adding that the decision of “soft handling” of the rally had been made “after a message from the Establishment”.
The sources said that the PTI leadership has assured the government that they would neither extend their call to turn the rally into a sit-in nor they would become violent if their workers are not harassed or arrested.
The source said that the local administration of the federal capital would sign a formal agreement with the PTI’s Islamabad chapter while the behind-the-scenes dialogue had been held between the PTI’s top leadership and the officials of the Interior Ministry.
When contacted, PTI’s Media Cell In-charge Chaudhry Rizvan confirmed that the PTI had submitted an application with capital’s administration, seeking permission for the November 30 rally.
NISAR WANTS PEACE:
In the meanwhile, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said Thursday that nobody would be allowed to ransack government and state buildings on November 30, however, PTI would be allowed to hold a peaceful public meeting.
Speaking to media representatives in Islamabad after attending the passing-out parade of Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASP), Nisar clarified that Frontier Constabulary (FC) personnel and police forces have been summoned from other cities to ensure the protection of government and state buildings and have been instructed not to baton charge the demonstrators. He said a mechanism has also been evolved for the use of water cannons.
The interior minister said that a three-tier security plan has been prepared for November 30 and FC, police and Rangers personnel will perform their duties to avert any untoward incident on the day.
“The law will come into action if democratic institutions were attacked,” he said, adding that the government could easily remove PTI’s protest sit-in “with just ten policemen”.
“We will not allow them [protesters] to enter the Red Zone. Nobody will be allowed to take laws into his hands,” he affirmed.
The minister said that the government was trying to convince PTI to record its protest without disturbing citizens and paralyzing civic life in Islamabad.
Foreseeing the probable situation on November 30, police has placed containers clarifying that government’s preparations are solely to protect state institutions and public property, the minister said.