Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah is addressing a press conference. — APP/File

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah is addressing a press conference. — APP/File
  • “Angry protesters in large numbers are intending to attend the sit-in.”
  • Interior minister says PDM chief requested to change venue of protest.
  • “Sit-in outside the SC would continue until CJP stepped down”, Tarar says.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has voiced concerns over the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) — the multi-party ruling alliance — protest demonstration scheduled to be held outside the Supreme Court tomorrow (Monday), saying “angry protesters in large numbers are intending to attend the sit-in”.

Addressing a press conference alongside Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb in Islamabad on Sunday, the interior minister said he along with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar met PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to request him to change the venue of the protest.

Sanaullah said an intelligence report indicated that staging the protest in the red zone or Constitutional Avenue area of the federal capital could create a tense situation.

The agencies have assessed that protesters in large number are intending to attend the PDM protest and they are angry over “Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial due to the decisions being taken by the three-member bench” of the apex court, he said.

The security czar was referring to the ongoing judiciary-executive standoff wherein the ruling PDM accused CJP Bandial and other two judges of the apex court of facilitating Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan.

“We fear that if this protest takes place in the red zone area [then] it will be difficult for the administration to handle the situation,” he remarked.

For this reason, the security czar said they had requested PDM chief Fazl to change the venue of the protest demonstration and added that the latter had sought time to take the final decision in this regard.

“We will meet him [Fazlur Rehman] again at 10pm tonight,” he added.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) Attaullah Tarar reiterated that protest sit-in outside the Supreme Court would continue until the CJP stepped down from his post.

Speaking on Geo News Naya Pakistan programme, the SAPM said that the Fazl-led Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) is an organised party and its workers are bound to follow the party’s instructions.

He said all security measures had been taken and the ruling parties’ workers would stage a peaceful demonstration against the CJP.

‘Now decision will be made in people’s court’

Setting aside their request, Fazl said that convoys from all over the country have left for Islamabad: “We have announced [sit-in] and now the decision will be made in people’s court tomorrow [Monday].”

He assured the ministers that the protest would remain “peaceful”. The PDM chairman said that the nation would take to the street tomorrow.

The ruling alliance of 13 political parties had announced to hold a sit-in outside the Supreme Court on Monday (tomorrow) to protest the judiciary’s “undue facilitation” to PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

The protest sit-in coincides with the hearing of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) plea asking the apex court to revisit its order of holding elections to the Punjab Assembly on May 14.

The petition will be heard a day after the court-ordered election deadline lapses.

Fazl, in a video message released on Saturday, said that the sit-in would be staged against the protection being given by a three-member bench of the apex court and Islamabad High Court to a “criminal”.

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