RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Awami Muslim League (AML) on Saturday completed arrangements for holding a public gathering at Liaquat Bagh on Sunday night.
AML President Sheikh Rashid claimed that the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) tried to stop his party workers from installing a sound system at the venue.
Mr Rashid told Dawn that the PML-N provincial government had double standard as it allowed Nawaz Sharif to interrupt the movement of citizens on Murree Road on Aug 9 and was now trying to stop the public meeting of Imran Khan.
Sheikh Rashid claims govt officials tried to stop his party workers from installing sound system at the venue
“On Saturday morning, we were installing a sound system at Liaquat Bagh when PHA officials reached there and tried to stop us. But due to the resistance of the AML workers, the officials went back.”
He said arrangements had been completed to welcome Imran Khan at the public gathering on Sunday night.
“We did not seek permission from the district administration for holding the public meeting but informed them to make arrangements for the security of Imran Khan,” Mr Rashid added.
On the other hand, PTI local leaders submitted an application to the district administration seeking permission to drop pamphlets in the city from a helicopter.
“The deputy commissioner was contacted for permission to drop pamphlets through aircraft/helicopter to advertise for the public meeting on Sunday morning,” PTI MPA Arif Abbasi told Dawn.
He said a private helicopter had been hired for the purpose. He insisted that the basic purpose of dropping the pamphlets from a helicopter was to inform the residents about the public meeting.
However, a senior party leader said the PTI basically wanted to distribute copies of the Supreme Court decision disqualifying Nawaz Sharif as the prime minister.
“If the permission to drop the pamphlets from a helicopter is not granted, the PTI will distribute them at the public gathering,” he said.
The PTI has planned to hold a rally from Faizabad to Liaquat Bagh where the participants will join the public meeting. Imran Khan will address the participants of the rally.
The two parties had installed banners and posters on Murree Road for the public meeting but the local administration removed them within an hour saying the organisers had not obtained any permission.
“Our banners were removed from Murree Road soon after they were installed. However, PML-N’s banners are still installed on the pillars of the metro bus elevated road,” said PTI district President Zahid Kazmi.
He said the PTI had submitted an application to the district administration about the rally but the party local leaders were informed that it had been forwarded to the home department and intelligence agencies for a clearance.
Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2017