Parade Ground set for PTI power show on Aug 13

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ISLAMABAD, AUG 6: The PTI will hold a rally at Islamabad’s Parade Ground on August 13 as a demonstration of the “public’s power”, announced party leader Farrukh Habib. The PTI’s Twitter account said party workers and supporters would also celebrate August 14 at the rally ground.

However, he said the rally’s announcement was a “political stunt” to divert attention from “their corruption”.

“Whether they have a rally on the 13th or 14th, they should do it in Parade Ground … but the matter is that attention won’t be removed from their corruption that has been caught and investigation won’t stop,” Sanaullah said.

The interior minister was apparently referring to the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision in the prohibited funding case, in which it had ruled that the PTI had received foreign funds. The electoral body, in a unanimous verdict, ruled that the PTI did indeed receive prohibited funding and issued a notice to the party asking why the funds should not be confiscated.

A three-member ECP bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar (CEC) Sultan Raja had passed the judgment in a case filed by PTI founding member Akbar S. Babar pending since November 14, 2014.

The PTI announced a protest against the ECP and subsequently, the Red Zone was partially sealed again on Thursday to stop the party’s activists from coming out on the streets and protesting in front of the ECP.

A total of 1,880 personnel including 400 Rangers and 115 Federal Constabulary officials were deployed at blocking points, equipped with tear gas shells. Two prison vans each were deployed at Dhokri Chowk, Serena Hotel Chowk, Nadra Chowk, Embassy Road Chowk, Express Chowk, and Fazal-i-Haq Road. Armed personnel carriers were deployed at these spots as well. A platoon each, along with a team of 25 anti-riot unit (ARU) personnel were seen patrolling Srinagar Highway, Jinnah Avenue, Margalla Road and Constitution Avenue.

Five platoons along with 100 personnel of ARU and 25 personnel equipped with tear gas shells were also put on standby at the Secretariat police station.