Despite the impending security risks, the Rawalpindi government on Friday issued the PTI a 56-point permit to hold its sit-in near Faizabad on Saturday (today).
Separately, PTI leader Asad Umar asserted that efforts were being made to obstruct the party’s “peaceful” rally in Rawalpindi and that party chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan’s life was in danger because the Islamabad government was preventing him from flying to the location in a helicopter.
The Rawalpindi administration issued a notification that read that the England cricket team would soon arrive in Rawalpindi, therefore the venue should be completely vacated after the rally was over.
The Rawalpindi police had been given orders to take all essential security precautions for the demonstration, it continued.
The announcement made it clear that the PTI leader could only use the route chosen by the PTI, the government of Islamabad, and the security services. Imran was also prohibited from driving a car with a sunroof both before and after the event.
According to the permit, Allama Iqbal Park had to be entirely cleared out after the march and could not be used for the PTI activists’ stay.
The rally’s participants were urged by the traffic police to adhere strictly to their rules for motorists. During the rally and sit-in, anti-state sloganeering and the use of drone cameras were barred. The letter said that in the event of any unfortunate incident or tragedy, the rally’s organizers will be held responsible.
It further said that violating the terms and conditions would result in legal action. There would be no garlands to welcome the PTI chairman.
After being examined by the Special Branch, food items would be given to rally participants. All impacted institutions received copies of the permit from the administration. Due to the PTI rally and sit-in, the Faizabad flyover, which connects Rawalpindi and the federal capital, has been totally sealed from all four sides.
For residents utilizing the flyover to commute to Islamabad, this created serious issues. Traffic jams and huge lines of vehicles were caused by blocked roadways.
Severe traffic jams were caused by the closure of the garrison city’s principal thoroughfares on Double Road, IJP Road, and Rawalpindi-Murree Road. According to reports, ambulances were also caught up in the gridlock.
The traffic police reported that a detour had been set up at Faizabad for motorists taking the Murree Road from Islamabad to Rawalpindi. They noted that travelers from Rawalpindi may access Islamabad through Old Airport Road and Stadium Road.
Red Zone entryways at Express Chowk and Nadra Chowk remained closed. However, travelers might take the alternate routes of Margalla Road, Ayub Chowk, and Serena Chowk.
According to the police, PTI activists disconnected the route from Faizabad to Islamabad by blocking it with a container in advance of the gathering.
The police have issued guidelines that citizens should take alternative routes and call 15 in the case of an emergency.
In a related development, PTI General Secretary Umar accused the Islamabad deputy commissioner of trying to endanger the life of party chief Imran by barring him from travelling to Rawalpindi’s Parade Ground via a helicopter despite being given permission by the GHQ.
A day earlier, the Islamabad district administration had refused to grant permission to the deposed premier to land his helicopter at the Parade Ground for the Rawalpindi rally. He claimed that the federal government would be held responsible if anything happened to Imran.
In the event that there was a negative occurrence involving the PTI head, he continued, the Islamabad DC would be “directly liable.”
“The cricket matches will not be affected by the PTI sit-in,” he assured, referring to the upcoming contests between Pakistan and England. Umar also took to his official Twitter handle to reiterate the claim that the Islamabad administration was “deliberately” trying to increase the threat to Imran Khan’s life. He maintained the Islamabad administration had given no reason for denying permission to land the chopper at Rawalpindi’s Parade Ground because there could be none.
The PTI submitted another application to the Islamabad administration on Friday, seeking permission to land the chopper carrying Imran to the Parade Ground. The Islamabad administration is yet to make a decision.