PTI can hold April 24 rally anywhere in capital except red zone, says Nisar


Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday said the government is ready to allow the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to celebrate its Foundation Day on April 24 anywhere in the federal capital other than the Red Zone provided the party leadership gave assurance of creating no problems for the local administration and citizens of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

“We can sit together with the PTI to discuss the venue of their rally,” Nisar told reporters during a press conference, but warned that party organisers would be responsible for any untoward incident in case the participants of the rally try to move towards the sensitive zone.

He said the political rallies and processions in the Red Zone area of Islamabad are to be strictly banned and the issue to be resolved once and for all, as the nation cannot afford holding such events in highly sensitive zones in the prevailing precarious security situation.

“The administration should stand on its own to protect the federal capital. We will not act strictly but will certainly prepare ourselves before the day of any procession,” he added.

He said the PTI chairman should also realize that such rallies cost billions of rupees to the national kitty, as around 18,000 security personnel would be deployed for the PTI’s public meeting.

Responding to a question, he said the issue of RAW agent Kulbhushan Jadhav will not to be thrown on the backburner.

The interior minister said he has held two sessions with the FIA over Sarfaraz Merchant’s statements and evidence regarding allegations of money laundering against Muttahida Qaumi Movement leaders, adding that a JIT has now been constituted in this regard and Sarfaraz Merchant could be summoned for queries if needed again.