Govt conditionally allows PTI to hold public meeting: Nisar

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Thursday said the government allowed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to hold public meeting in Islamabad on May, 11 with certain conditions aimed at ensuring security of citizens and important buildings.

Addressing a press conference here, he said nobodywould be allowed to enter the red zone.

The red zone comprises Parliament, President House, Prime Minister House, Supreme Court, diplomatic enclave, Secretariat and other important buildings which would be protected by visible and invisible security.

The Minister said thousands of personnel of police, Rangers and FC would provide a three tier cover so that a particular pressure group or a vested interest could not violate the sanctity of red zone and security of Islamabad.

“I assure the citizens that law and order will be maintained. I think there is a sense of political maturity and the meeting of PTI will be an expression of difference of opinion in a democratic way,” he remarked.

He said the government allowed the meeting as Imran Khan was insisting on show of strength, adding he was satisfied so far that PTI would protest as a mature political party.

“In principle, the government has no doubt that everybody has right to express difference of opinion and protest. In this backdrop, we have no objection over the protest of PTI led by Imran Khan,” he stated.

However, he said, holding of rallies, meetings and processions in a sensitive area of Islamabad where all important buildings and institutions exist is not a healthy tradition.

The Minister said he would take up this issue in future that places should be specified where meetings and processions could be held so that capital administration could be saved from a difficult situation which could be created by a handful of people at a sensitive place like red zone.

Chaudhry Nisar said administration would extend cooperation to PTI for peaceful protest which was its political and democratic right.

“We will provide environment for a democratic protest but we will also ensure protection of life and property of citizens and important government buildings and institutions.”

Explaining the conditions set for the public meeting, Chaudhry Nisar said no one would be allowed to bring weapons of any kind to the meeting.

Routes will be designated for people coming from Azad Kashmir, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he said adding no vehicle which would be carrying a person with firearms would be allowed.

The Minister said nobody would be allowed to indulge in politics of containers as was done in the past by a certain personality and party.

Nobody would be allowed to bring infants to the public meeting as was done previously when children were used as a human shield and nobody would be allowed to bring fireworks and separate enclosures for women would be set up, he added.

The Minister said vehicles of the participants of the meeting could not go beyond Kulsoom Plaza in Blue Area and the stage would be set 100 yards away from Express Chowk.

To a question, he said Imran Khan was not making demands to the government but was raising objections regarding election tribunals, Supreme Court, Election Commission and media but this matter was not in the jurisdiction of the government.

The Minister said a central command and control would be set up to monitor the rally through cameras.

He further told that a plan was being implemented to install 2000 cameras at important places of Islamabad and Rawalpindi keeping in view model of invisible security prevalent in London and UK’s other cities.

He said investigation was continuing into the attack on the convoy of FC jawans in North Waziristan.