Rawalpindi - The City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR) yesterday put a complete ban on holding public meetings and rallies on the occasion of Pakistan Independence Day.

The ban will affect the rallies planned by Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)and Awami Muslim League to celebrate the Pakistan Independence Day.

The CDGR announced the ban while deciding the applications by Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and PML-N Rawalpindi President Sardar Naseem seeking permission to hold public rallies on the night of August 13.

The big wheels of CDGR following the directions of the Punjab government have decided that no public rally would be allowed at open public places on the occasion of August 14. The decision has been taken while keeping in view overall law and order situation in the country following suicide blast in Quetta hospital.

Talking to The Nation, a senior official of CDGR said that no political party would be allowed to carry out rallies. He said that the measure was taken following the directions from the provincial government and the reason for the ban was security concern.

He added that the district administration had decided no gathering whatsoever would be allowed at open and public places on August 14.

Earlier, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had planned to hold a mammoth public gathering outside his residence Lal Haveli in Raja Bazaar on night of August 13. Sheikh Rashid’s public rally and fireworks is a regular feature in Rawalpindi on the night of August 13.

On the other hand, PML-N stalwart Sardar Nasim had also sought permission for holding public rally on Iqbal Road outside PML-N House near Committee Chowk on August 13.

The PTI had also informed the district administration that it would start a public rally from Mareer Chowk to Faizabad on Benazir Bhutto Road on August 14.

The ban might lead to a clash like situation on the Independence Day when the PTI and Sheikh Rashid Ahmed would try to move on with their planned rallies and the district government would try to stop them.

Meanwhile, Regional Police Officer Wisal Fakhar Sultan Raja, in a press release, stated that the police would not allow public gatherings at open places. The RPO also held a meeting with heads of district police of Rawalpindi, Attock, Chakwal, and Jhelum to review measures for security plan on August 14.

Wisal Fakhar said that the police would take strict action against youngsters involved in one-wheeling. He said that the police would also create awareness about dangers of one-wheeling through pamphlets and banners.