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Secretary General Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri has assured the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration that participants of Azadi March will not create any hurdle in the routine life of the people of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Addressing a press conference here on Monday along with deputy commissioner Islamabad, Haideri said that the government is blocking roads and streets in the twin cities by putting containers on exit and entry points. He urged the district administration not to create hurdles for the common citizens by blocking the roads and streets. Speaking to media persons on the occasion, the deputy commissioner Islamabad said that the ICT administration is trying to provide all the facilities to the participants of Azadi March.
DC Hamza Shafqat said that no road including Kashmir Highway connecting Islamabad with rest of the country will be blocked and participants of the Azadi March will be limited to the allowed area, adding if additional space is required for the participants the administration will provide it to the participants. He added that the administration in collaboration with the organizers of the Azadi March is building basic amenities for the participants. He said that so far district administration has allocated 100 acres of land for the march participants and additional 25 acres more land along the Kashmir Highway is being leveled.
Haideri said that an estimated 1.5 million people will be participating in the Azadi March and the land reserved for the march isn't sufficient, adding that so far place for two stages for the leadership of the march has also not been finalized by the Islamabad district administration.
The JUI-F general secretary said the venue was appropriate from the security point of view. He said the participants could go to the Kashmir Highway if they found the space not enough to accommodate everyone. "Our past rallies didn't have special arrangements for prayers," Maulana Hyderi said. "However, this time the gathering will have a religious atmosphere and congregational prayers will be held."
He assured that the protesters would not cause any trouble to citizens. DC Shafqaat clarified that the Kashmir Highway would not be closed in compliance with the court orders. He said all the roads would remain open and organisations would keep functioning routinely as per the agreement between the two sides. The protesters would be allowed to carry out the march as long as the everyday life of citizens is not adversely affected.
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman started Azadi March from Karachi to Islamabad on October 27 which will enter Islamabad on October 31. Meanwhile, Islamabad administration on Monday formally allowed the participants of Azadi March to hold a sit-in in the federal capital if they comply with certain conditions put forth by the capital authorities.
According to the no-objection certificate issued by Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Hamza Shafqat, the participants are barred from burning effigies or banners of any political leader or political or religious party. The deputy commissioner has also bound the JUI-F leadership not to disrupt the fundamental rights of the citizens of the federal capital and its adjoining areas.
"You shall be responsible for the internal security arrangements of the participants. And the list of the participants shall be shared with the local police in advance. No damage shall be caused to the public or private property. And in case of any such damage, the organizers will be held responsible," reads the letter. The DC has also bound the organizers to ensure that the participants would not illegally move beyond the identified boundaries of the venue and any violation of the condition and resultant consequences shall be the responsibility of the organizers.
"Anti-state, anti-religious or anti-Pakistan ideology speeches or slogans shall not be made. Weapons/firearms of any kind shall not be taken at/near the venue of the protest. However, anything needed for the internal security of the participants will be allowed subject to the approval of the district administration," the NOC read. According to the sources, the federal government is closely monitoring the speeches being made by JUI leaders at various places en route Islamabad.
"However, the speech to be made by JUI chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman at Lahore would be key for any action by the federal government. If we see any warning shots, we will take appropriate actions to tackle the situation," the sources said.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2019