PTI’s Nov 30 rally: PM confers with aides to finalise strategy

Nawaz mandates Ishaq Dar to approach Imran’s party for talks on ToR for judicial commission.

Saeed Awan/abdul Manan November 18, 2014


As the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf prepares for what it calls ‘decisive rally’ in the federal capital on November 30, the government decided on Tuesday to hold negotiations with the PTI only on the terms of reference (ToR) of a judicial commission the prime minister has requested the Supreme Court to form to probe into alleged rigging in the May 2013 polls.

While conferring with his top aides at the Prime Minister House, Nawaz Sharif mandated Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to approach the PTI and find out if the party was interested in discussing the ToR or not, sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune.

The premier is said to have told Dar that the government would resume talks if the PTI desired to discuss the ToR. He, however, made it clear that Imran Khan’s demand for inclusion of officials from the Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence in the proposed commission was not acceptable.

According to sources, the participants of the meeting – including federal ministers Ishaq Dar, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Pervaiz Rashid and Ahsan Iqbal – believed that all political parties represented in parliament concurred that only the ToR should be discussed with the PTI.

The huddle expressed satisfaction at the government strategy to deal with the sit-in in Islamabad and modus operandi of talks with the PTI. Sources said the government and political parties were interested to see PTI’s show of power on November 30.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Federal Minister for Planning and Reform Ahsan Iqbal confirmed that negotiations with the PTI would be only on the ToR for the commission. “Even the government cannot direct the chief justice of the Supreme Court to include someone in the commission,” he said,  adding that Imran’s demand for the inclusion of ISI and MI officials in the commission was extra-constitutional.

According to sources, the meeting also discussed issue of the appointment of a new chief election commissioner (CEC). Dar apprised the participants that Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah, who is in the United Kingdom these days, will return to Pakistan on November 24. According to sources, the prime minister asked Dar and Pervaiz Rashid to restart consultation with Shah for a suitable person.

The meeting also decided to expand the federal and Punjab cabinets after PTI’s November 30 rally, sources said. The prime minister is scheduled to travel to Nepal to attend the SAARC summit on November 26-27.  Interior Minister Chuadhry Nisar briefed the prime minister on the appointment at National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta) head and his efforts for developing a consensus among all stakeholders in this regard. He also requested the premier for more funds to offer lucrative package to officers and experts at Nacta.

Countering PTI rally legally

In order to give a legal cover to its security measures ahead of PTI’s November 30 rally, the Islamabad administration has decided to issue an ordinance. Sources told Daily Express that the draft of such an ordinance has been sent to the ministries of defence and law – and after their assent the chief commissioner will formally issue a notification.

The ordinance, according to sources, would declare the Red Zone a high security area where more than four people would not be allowed to gather.

After promulgation of the ordinance, only security forces personnel deployed there would be able to enter the Red Zone while the approval for the entry of any person, apart from government officials whose offices are located there, could only be given by a Grade 17 official.

All irrelevant people entering the Red Zone could face six-month jail term and Rs10,000 fine. No weapon-wielding individual would be allowed to stage a protest or enter the Red Zone, and violators would face three-year jail term and Rs50,000 fine.

No party or individual, other than law enforcers, would be allowed to establish checkpoints in the area. This ordinance will apply to Islamabad Capital Territory and the steps taken by the federal government and law enforcement agencies to implement it could not be challenged in any court of law.

However, Federal Minister for Information Pervaiz Rashid rejected the possibility of any such move. “The government is not issuing any ordinance to deal with the PTI rally,” he said, adding that the government would take a decision when the rally would draw closer.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2014.



Zafar | 7 years ago | Reply

According to sources, the participants of the meeting – including federal ministers Ishaq Dar, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Pervaiz Rashid and Ahsan Iqbal – believed that all political parties represented in parliament concurred that only the ToR should be discussed with the PTI” How can you expect a justice if the appointee himself is being accused of poll-rigging. No matter what, Nawaz Sharif and his cronies cannot be trusted because they are part of the same elite who have been plundering the wealth of my beloved country from ages !!!! I sincerely hope Sir. Imran Khan will never strike a deal with these vultures !!!!

Shakil Khan | 7 years ago | Reply

After Imran shown flexibility on PM resignations, they dont have any argument left but to accept the agreed 5 demands. So they now started beating around the bush.

Once again the mega intellectuals of PMLN must have come up with grand strategy to get Containers and block the roads! why hindering free movement of people and right to protest? why even worry about Imran Khan and PTI :)

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