ISLAMABAD: The capital administration on Sunday warned Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasoolullah Pakistan and Sunni Tehreek against taking any rally to Islamabad saying a ban on public gatherings had already been imposed in the city. Besides, the organisers have not sought permission for the rally.

They were also informed that Parade Ground had been reserved for such gatherings and holding a rally somewhere else in the capital was unlawful.

A notice issued by the district administration to the two parties stated: “It has come to the notice of this office that a long march/rally under your leadership is announced from Lahore to Islamabad on November 6. In this regard you are informed that in the wake of prevailing law and order situation and recent terrorist attacks in the country, Section 144 has been imposed in Islamabad banning public gatherings.”

District admin tells Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasoolullah and Sunni Tehreek that ban has already been imposed on public gatherings

It said the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had already notified a multipurpose ground near Sharkparian as a democracy park/speech corner on the direction of the Islamabad High Court. “Hence any lawful event/peaceful protest can only be allowed to be carried out at the designated place after obtaining due approval/NOC from the district administration,” the notice said.

Till now, it added, no request for NOC for the long march/rally has been received by this office from the organisers, adding if the rally was brought to the city without NOC it would be a violation of the order of the IHC as well as Section 144.

It will also be an infringement of the rights of the citizens of Islamabad, which have been protracted by the IHC through its judgment.

“You are hereby intimated that in case of non-obtaining of NOC, long march/rally will not be allowed to enter the capital and necessary legal proceedings/action will be taken against the violators in accordance with the relevant provisions of law.”

A senior officer of the capital administration told Dawn that the notice was served on leaders of the Tehreek-i-Labaik Yah Rasoolullah and Sunni Tehreek through fax and Whatsapp. Besides, the same was also sent to the local leadership of both the parties, he added.

The district administration has called the leadership of the two parties to a meeting to discuss the matter on Sunday night during which the notice would also be served on them by hand.

They were asked to bring their agenda and demands so that it can be submitted to the government.

So far, he added, no one had approached the capital administration for permission and NOC for the gathering.

He said there were two groups of Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasoolullah: the international and Pakistan chapters. A few days ago, Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasoolullah international took a rally to Islamabad and staged a sit-it in the city which ended after negotiations with the government.

Now the Pakistan chapter is bringing another rally to Islamabad, he stated, adding both the groups had the same agenda and demands.

Meanwhile, the capital police have sought assistance of 8,000 personnel - 4,000 from Punjab, 3,000 from FC and 1,000 from AJK - for security in the capital, a police officer added.

So far, 41 reserves form the FC, comprising 1,479 personnel, have reached Islamabad from KP and were accommodated at a hostel in Bhara Kahu.

The Punjab police, however, expressed its inability to provide 4,000 personnel saying the police were already engaged in security duty at the Raiwind congregation. The AJK police are yet to respond.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2017

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