Police in Islamabad has sought a grant of over Rs70million to maintain peace ahead of the arrival of a rally by religious parties which began from Lahore on Monday and will converge in the capital.
The organisers — Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasoolullah Pakistan and Sunni Tehreek — have been warned against taking any rally to Islamabad as a ban on public gatherings had already been imposed in the city. But they appear undeterred and have not even sought permission from local administration, according to officials.
The request for grant by the police includes Rs44m for food, Rs14.6m for hiring containers and other vehicles, Rs5.5m for fuel, Rs4.5m for residence of additional 8,000 personnel whose services have been sought from Punjab, FC and Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) and Rs2m for other expenses.
The grant, requested from the interior ministry, will only be enough for seven days and further money will be requested if it continues beyond a week.
The organisers of the rally are demanding the government to fix responsibility for a recent amendment in Khatm-i-Nabuwat declaration which was declared a "clerical error" by the government. Among other demands are execution of death sentence of Aasia Bibi — who was convicted for blasphemy in 2010 — and clarification of Rana Sanullah's statements about Ahmedis.
A few days ago, Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasoolullah international took a rally to Islamabad with the same demands and staged a sit-in in the city which ended after negotiations with the government. The current protest is being held by the organisation's Pakistan chapter.