ISLAMABAD: Police have registered a case under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act against some political activists for shouting slogans against the chief justice of Pakistan and the representative of a state institution during a protest organised by the alliance of 11 parties outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) office on Wednesday.

One of the two nominated suspects has been arrested, while other participants of the demonstration are being identified through a video provided to police.

Police will produce the arrested activist before a court on Friday (today) to seek his physical remand.

The protest was organised by the newlyformed 11-party grand opposition alliance named Pakistan Alliance for Free and Fair Elections. The parties are: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Awami National Party, Qaumi Watan Party, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), National Party and Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), an amalgam of five religio-political parties including Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F), Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan (JUP-Noorani).

The opposition parties allege that a particular party has been supported through “interference” in the electoral process.

According to the First Information Report lodged with the Secretariat police station and a diary issued from the office of the senior superintendent police, some of the demonstrators raised slogans against Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and a state institution.

A police official said that only two political workers had been booked in the case — Shehzada Kausar Gillani, a woman, and Raja Imtiaz, both belonging to the PPP.

“Police have been provided a video in which a number of other persons are also seen shouting slogans against the chief justice and a leading personality of a state institution. We are trying to identify these persons and will include their names in the FIR as soon as they are identified,” he said.

The police official said that one of the identified suspects had been arrested, while it had been decided not to arrest the other because she was a woman.

Meanwhile, the PPP has rejected and distanced itself from the abusive language used against the judiciary in the demonstration against what the parties call rigged and manipulated elections of July 25.

A PPP spokesperson said in a statement issued on Thursday that the party practised and believed in principled politics and in raising a strong and powerful voice on issues. But, at the same time, the party rejects vendetta and (use of) abusive language in political discourse.

Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2018

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