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Nisar Ali Khan allowed PTI to hold rally at F-9 Park

17 April, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has given a green signal to the district administration for conditionally allowing Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) to hold a public gathering in Fatima Jinnah (F-9) Park on April 24.

The interior ministry announced on Saturday that Chaudhry Nisar directed the capital administration to sit with the local leadership of the PTI to amicably resolve the matter. The minister also said no hindrances should be created for the PTI in connection with its founding day rally.

He, however, said it should be guaranteed by the organisers that the participants would peacefully disperse after the stipulated time. It should also be ensured that the routine life of the citizens of Islamabad was least affected.

The directions from the minister came a day after confusion cropped up over the fate of the rally. In the absence of the interior minister, the district administration had sent a letter to the PTI declining its request to hold the gathering in F-9 Park saying there was a ban under Section 144 on holding rallies in the capital.

However, Naeemul Haq, the PTI spokesman, while confirming the receipt of the letter from the district administration on Friday, had termed the decision unacceptable. Various other leaders of the PTI also insisted that the rally would take place as per plan, claiming no permission was required for observing the founding day of the party.

When the plan to hold an event to mark the party’s founding day was announced by the PTI without announcing the venue, the interior minister had ruled out the possibility of allowing the gathering in the federal capital. He had announced his decision to dismantle D-Chowk in the red zone, saying the place would no longer be available for political activities. He had also talked about a ban on public rallies in the capital and suggested that some other city could be used for the purpose.

When the PTI announced to hold the event in F-9 Park, the minister ruled out the possibility of allowing it to use the public park for the political activity. However, later he hinted at giving a conditional permission to the PTI for the event in the park. All he wanted was a guarantee that the participants would not move to another place after the function was over and a declaration that the organisers would be responsible for any casualty as a result of an administrative action in case of the violation of the condition.

The minister had also expressed his readiness to meet or talk to PTI chief Imran Khan to resolve the matter. The green signal came days after the interior minister traveled to London on his way to Germany in a plane with a seat close to the PTI chief Imran Khan who was also going to the United Kingdom.

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