ISLAMABAD: Despite being banned in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) by the administration, Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Ahle Sunnat wal Jamat (ASWJ) chief Maulana Ahmed Ludhianwi reached Rawalpindi on Sunday to participate in the Sarbarahi Ijlas.
The media coordinator of the Sarbarahi Ijlas, Ubaidullah Usmani, confirmed to The Express Tribune that the rally had started in the adjacent city of Islamabad.
Other party leaders including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-S) chief Maulana Samiul Haq, JUI-Functional chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, late General Ziaul Haq’s son Ejazul Haq and Jamaat e Islami (JI) Secretary General Liaqat Baloch also reached Rawalpindi to participate in the rally.
Haq, addressing a news briefing, rebuked the Pakistan Army and said that the Army had claimed that it will bring down the American drones, but still have not done anything yet, thus compelling the DPC to stand up for the cause.
The party leader also took up Dr Aafia Siddiqui's case during his address and said that their "innocent sister" is being "shamefully treated".
He was accompanied with Ludhianwi, who said that the ban on three leaders in Islamabad will be challenged in the court.
The leaders, in a meeting today, will also review the arrangements and the strategy for the sit-in on Monday in Islamabad.
They will also look into the matter of the ban on three Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) leaders in Islamabad for seven days, confirmed the ASWJ spokesman, and added that the meeting will be chaired by DPC chairman Samiul Haq.
The spokesperson said that the DPC will formally announce at 2pm today the change in venue of the sit-in. It was earlier supposed to be in front of the parliament, but now it will be held at the Aabpara Chowk in Islamabad, he said.
A senior police officer in Rawalpindi, while talking to The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity, said that the Islamabad administration had imposed ban on three leaders of DPC for seven days but despite the ban, the Rawalpindi police as well as the city's administration have been unable to take any legal action against those breaching the bans.
He added that the Rawalpindi police and the administration are under control of the Punjab government, while the Islamabad Police and Islamabad administration are under the control of federal government.
Sheikh Rasheed leaves DPC
Ejazul Haq told The Express Tribune that Sheikh Rasheed has left the Difa-e-Pakistan Council after receiving a call from American politician Condoleeza Rice.
He added that the DPC leaders will visit Rasheed to get him back into the council.
He also announced of an All Parties' Conference to be held on February 27.
Hamid Gul apologises to Express media group over allegations
Former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Hamid Gul issued an apology to the Express media group over his allegations of calling Malik Ishaq's pictures on The Express Tribune's website "doctored".
In a TV interview, Gul had said that Ishaq, one of the founders of the banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, was not present at the DPC rally in Multan and questioned the reporter who had filed the pictures of the rally.
Gul said that he was mistaken as he was not aware of all the people who attended the rally.
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