Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Tuesday announced that the federal cabinet had made the decision not to allow Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf to hold its long march to the capital, due to be held tomorrow on May 25.
Addressing a presser, the minister said that the government would not permit PTI to spread “chaos and disorder” under the ruse of the march. “These people (PTI) have moved from abuses to bullets. A police constable was killed in Lahore,” Sanaullah said.
He was talking about the slain police constable Kamal Ahmad who was shot and killed last night during a police raid in Lahore’s Model Town area.
Sanaullah said that the PTI leadership had congregated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and had planned to use the province’s resources and personnel to “attack the federation.”
Shortly after the interior minister spoke about the government’s decision, he called upon the Pakistan Army for the security of the Red Zone area in the federal capital. According to local media reports, army personnel will be deployed at PM House and the PM Office along with other sensitive government buildings.
The reports said that all security arrangements will be given over to the army.
In another development, Yasmeen Rashid and other leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf have approached the Lahore High Court and challenged their possible arrests and hurdles on the way of the long march to Islamabad.
They called on the court to direct the government not to employ such tactics to bar them from their right to protest. They sought removal of containers and suspension of internet service.
The PTI leaders also requested the release of detained party leaders and workers during last night’s crackdown.
Meanwhile, PTI Punjab President Shafqat Mehmood changed the venue for his presser from the party’s Jail Road office to Lahore Press Club. He was supposed to share the list of workers arrested by police.
However, the venue was changed to avoid arrest. A large contingency of police also reached Press Club after change of venue.