Operations Deputy Inspector General Haider Ashraf said on Wednesday that police had been instructed to restrict Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) activists to Faisal Town and Model Town.
Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has been invoked in two police divisions of Lahore to prohibit assembly of five or more people, pillion riding and display of arms. A notification in this regard was issued by the city government on Wednesday.
The police have been directed to strictly enforce the prohibitions. Ashraf said action would be taken against anyone found guilty of violating the prohibitions.
He said the police avoid making physical contact with PAT workers to prevent any untoward incident. Ashraf said the police would use tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse PAT activists if they tried to remove containers placed around the area.
Cantt Superintendent Dr Farrukh said the police was prepared to restrict PAT activists at all costs.
Meanwhile PAT workers were put on high alert as rumours a police operation gained currency.
PAT and Minhaj volunteers were seen patrolling the streets of Model Town Extension throughout the day.
Mustafavi Students Movement (MSM) head Irfan said PAT workers were prepared to march to Islamabad. He said the route and a detailed plan would be finalised a few hours before the march commenced.
Hameed Ali, a PAT official, said the march would commence around 10 in the morning. He said PAT activists would use all resources at their disposal to clear their way. Ali said PAT convoys would halt in Gujrat for the night at the invitation of the Chaudhry brothers.
Acting on the direction of PAT chief Tahirul Qadri, several activists said, they had started storing rations in anticipation of the march to Islamabad. Ghulam Muhammad, a student from Peshawar, said the activists were ready to march to Islamabad behind their leader. He said they had collected sufficient provisions to last a few months. Mohammad said the government would topple soon.
Hafza Ahmed, a resident of Rahim Yar Khan, said PAT activists would not rest till the country had been rid of Sharif brothers. “That is why our leader has advised his followers to bring provisions with them to Model Town,” she said.
Saleem Ali, a resident of Faisalabad, said he had been present at Minhajul Quran since the first week of August.
He said he was willing to sacrifice everything to see Pakistan united under the leadership of Tahirul Qadri. Ali said there would be no income disparities, discrimination or corruption in Pakistan under him.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2014.