ISLAMABAD - A high-level consultative meeting under the chair of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif here on Tuesday discussed overall political situation in the country and the plan to tackle the November 30 rally of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf in the federal capital.
Sources aware of the deliberations of the meeting informed that Federal Interior Minister Chaurdhry Nisar Ali Khan gave detailed briefing on the security plan of the federal capital, particularly the sensitive buildings in ‘Red Zone’ and Diplomatic Enclave, and it was unanimous view of all that no compromise on the security of sensitive buildings and Diplomatic Enclave would be made.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also held separate meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif and Federal Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan to discuss the overall political situation in the country with specific reference to the November 30 rally of the PTI .
The participants were undecided over granting of permission to PTI to hold rally in ‘Red Zone’ as some of the federal ministers in attendance were of the view that the government must not allow them to hold rally in Red Zone while some of the participants said that on taking guarantees from the leadership of PTI that they would remain peaceful, they would be allowed to hold their show at D-Chowk.
Federal Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khan during his briefing informed the participants that extra force from Punjab was already called in for maintenance order and to handle any untoward incident in the federal capital while the intelligence agencies were put on high alert so that to block sneaking in of any saboteur in the rally . He further said that after the Wagha border suicide attack, the terrorists could make such an attempt anywhere else in the country and big public rallies could be their soft targets.
Sources in the government informed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was of the view that holding of peaceful public rallies is the right of every political party but they should also keep the precarious law and order situation in the country into consideration before arranging such events.
Sources aware of the hectic consultation going on in this connection informed The Nation that though on face of it PTI would be allowed to hold rally in Islamabad on November 30, yet the state machinery would fully be mobilised to hamper the public mobility to make PTI show flop.
“Similarly, police from all over Punjab was already called in Islamabad to tackle any untoward incident or contain the PTI workers if they turn violent,” a source in the government informed, adding that law would take its course where and when PTI workers would be found overstepping it.
Sources further said that there would be no plan to introduce some PTI specific law at this juncture because the government was not in a position to face the onslaught of criticism by media and civil society by bringing any November 30 rally specific law.
The meeting also reviewed the progress of Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms and prime minister directed the head of the committee Ishaq Dar to speed up the job assigned to the committee so that reformation in the existing electoral system could be introduced at the earliest.
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid, head of sub-committee of the electoral reforms body, gave a detailed view of the working of the committee and the progress so far made by them.
It was further decided in the meeting that regarding the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner the government would approach Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly afresh to finalise some mutually acceptable person for the slot, who would also have the backing of other parliamentary parties as well.
“In this connection, the prime minister would soon be holding meeting with Leader of Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah,” a source informed The Nation.
Ahead of the special meeting in a separate meeting with Federal Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khan and Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif discussed the PTI rally on Nov. 30 and the ways and means to tackle it.
It was the unanimous view of the three that guarantees would be taken from the PTI leadership that they would remain peaceful and it was further decided that the venue of the rally would also be decided after consultation with them.
ORDINANCE LIKELY TO STOP PROTEST IN RED ZONE
Monitoring Desk adds: Ordinance to bar everyone from protesting inside the Red Zone has been prepared by the interior ministry, reported a private TV channel on Tuesday.
The document has been forwarded by the interior ministry to the ministry of law. Under this ordinance, not more than five people will be allowed to gather at any place within the high-security zone . Protests of any kind will also not be allowed.
To give legal cover to the security arrangements, Islamabad administration has decided to issue a new ordinance. Only the people working in the institutions located in the Red Zone and the security personnel will be allowed to enter.
Legal action will be taken against anyone who’d try to break into the zone without permission . The person found guilty of violating the ordinance will be punishable by jail and fine.