Demo outside ECP: Protesters who insulted institutions booked under terror charges

FIR lodged on basis of a video of protest at Islamabad police station


Arsalan Altaf August 09, 2018
Protesters gather on Constitution Avenue, Islamabad on August 8. PHOTO:EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Police on Thursday registered a terrorism case against the protesters who allegedly raised ‘derogatory slogans’ against some state institutions during a protest by opposition parties outside the Election Commission (ECP) headquarters on Wednesday.

The case was registered at the Secretariat police station late Wednesday night on the complaint of an assistant commissioner (AC). In his complaint, the AC said he came across a video which showed that ‘derogatory slogans were being raised against worthy state institutions’.

The police registered a case including clauses related to terrorism, insult to judiciary, rioting, and unlawful assembly. They said in the video a group of people is shown raising derogatory slogans.

An official said one of the men is identified as Muhammad Imtiaz Raja, a Rawalpindi resident. A woman, Shehzada Kausar Gilani, an Islamabad resident, is also named in the FIR.

Opposition parties end protest against 'rigging' outside ECP in Islamabad

“Several others persons shown in the video are yet to be identified,” the official added.

The ‘Grand Opposition Alliance’ on Wednesday staged a protest outside the ECP headquarters against alleged rigging in the July 25 polls and demanded resignations of the ECP management.

However, heads of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Awami National Party (ANP) – who formed the ‘Grand Opposition Alliance’ against alleged rigging and called the protest – were conspicuous by their absence from the demonstration.

Even, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, whose party had earlier announced not to take oath at the new legislatures, also joined the protest a couple of hours after it started, undermining the event’s significance.

Senior PPP leaders including former prime ministers Yousuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Farhatullah Babar, Aitzaz Ahsan, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Khursheed Shah, Sherry Rehman and Naveed Qamar among others attended the protest.

The PML-N was represented by Raja Zafarul Haq, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Ahsan Iqbal, Khawaja Asif, Barrister Javed Abbasi, Chaudhry Tanvir, Javed Hashmi and others.

Afrasiab Khattak, Zahid Khan and other leaders represented the ANP while Abdul Ghafoor Haideri was among the main leaders from the MMA who showed up at the protest. The Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai and Qaumi Watan Party's head Aftab Sherpao were also present.

Addressing the protest, the participants criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and its chairman Imran Khan for their “reluctance to cooperate in allowing fair probe into rigging in the general elections”.

MMA, JUI-F to hold protest in K-P on August 8

They also criticised the management of the ECP and demanded resignations of its top brass for failing to provide a level-playing field in the run-up to the elections and failure of the Result Transmission System on election day.

Fazl announced holding protests outside Provincial Election Commission offices in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta today (Thursday). Well-placed sources in the PML-N see the absence of heads of major opposition parties as an “expression of detachment” from the moves of the joint opposition.

A PML-N senator, requesting anonymity, said the party leadership asked senior party leaders including the general poll contestants on PML-N tickets to gather outside the ECP office while no such instructions were issued for the party’s workers.

Interestingly, heads of smaller political groups, who are protesting against the general election results, are all those who lost their home seats on July 25. Those include MMA’s Fazl, ANP’s Asfandyar, PkMAP’s Achakzai, Pakistan Sarzameen Party’s Mustafa Kamal and QWP's Sherpao

COMMENTS (1)

numbersnumbers | 2 years ago | Reply Abuse of terrorist type laws against political opponents! Not a good starting point for IK!
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