ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI: Police of the twin cities on Friday prepared a list of political activists and leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) for possible crackdowns against them, The Express Tribune has learnt.
A senior police official said names of political activists of both the parties have been jotted down in order to weaken their physical presence on the “Azadi march” scheduled on August 14. PAT is yet to announce whether it will join Imran Khan’s ‘million man march’.
The official, who is close to the development, said lists were compiled by every police station of the twin cities with the coordination of Special Branch and the Intelligence Bureau.
The official said over two dozen political leaders of both parties, who were active and could possibly cause trouble for the administration, would be on the top of the list. “We have not [yet] received directions from higher authorities to arrest them but the lists are final,” said the official.
The leaders most likely to be detained if orders come through include PTI MNA Asad Umar, PTI Central Information Secretary Dr Shireen Mazari, PAT Central Deputy Secretary Information Umar Riaz Abbasi, PAT Central President Raheeq Abbas and PAT Rawalpindi Secretary Information Muhammad Haider Alvi, among others.
Police suspect PAT workers in Rawalpindi for planning to cause trouble as their last experience with them led to clashes.
The police have also finalised arrangements to intercept the protesters at different entry points of the twin cities. The official said that policemen in plain clothes would be deployed at various locations.
Islamabad Capital Territory Administration also cancelled holidays of its staff for August 9 and 10 while assistant commissioners and magistrates were directed to ensure their presence on duty on the weekend.
PTI leader Asad Umar told The Express Tribune on Friday that PTI supporters would react if they were stopped. “Peaceful protest is our constitutional right and we will not tolerate if our workers are arrested,” Umar said.
PAT leader Umar Riaz Abbasi said peaceful protest was their right and warned that PAT activists would react if stopped.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th,2014.