Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah says PDM chief will decide about the venue by Monday morning after consulting allies
The federal Govt ‘fails’ to convince Fazl to change SC sit-in venue despite two rounds of talks to change the location of the sit-in and announced that a new place of protest meeting will be decided on Monday am (today).
A two-member government transfer which includes Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar participated in two rounds of discussions with Fazl to convince him not to set up a sit-in outside the Supreme Court on Monday (today) over security concerns.
The governing PDM announced organizing a protest sit-in outside the Supreme Court against Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial in protest against the judiciary’s “undue support” to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led federal government ordered the PDM head to change the place of the protest sit-in from outside the Supreme Court to D-Chowk in Islamabad due to security concerns, Previously on Sunday,
Addressing the media following the last round of meetings with Maulana Fazl late Sunday in Islamabad, Sanaullah said the PDM chief was fully empowered to decide about the venue of the protest sit-in and added that the former would take the final decision in this regard by morning in consultation with the heads of all allied parties of the ruling alliance.
“Tomorrow’s [Monday] sit-in will be peaceful and a single pot will not be broken,” he continued.
Dar and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri among others were also present on the occasion to convince Molana Fazl-ul-Rehman
Earlier, the security czar raised worries about the assembly of a “large number of protesters” in the red zone region of the federal capital.
He together with the finance minister also had two rounds of conversations with Fazl to encourage him to alter the place of the protest sit-in.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad after a first round of meetings, the interior minister said the PDM chief had been requested to change the venue of the protest as an intelligence report indicated that staging the protest in the red zone or Constitutional Avenue area of the federal capital could create a tense situation.
The authorities have assessed that protestors in big number are going to join the PDM demonstration and they are unhappy about “Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial due to the decisions being taken by the three-member bench” of the top court, he added.
Sanaullah was alluding to the recent judiciary-executive deadlock whereby the governing PDM accused CJP Bandial and other two justices of the supreme court of assisting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) head Imran Khan.
“We fear that if this protest takes place in the red zone area [then] it will be difficult for the administration to handle the situation,” he observed.
Following the first round of huddles, the PDM brushed aside the government’s request noting that convoys from all across the nation had gone for Islamabad.
“We have announced [sit-in] and now the decision will be made in people’s court tomorrow [Monday],” he said.
However, Fazl had promised the ministers that the demonstration would be “peaceful”.
The protest sit-in coincides with the hearing of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) case urging the supreme court to rethink its ruling of conducting elections to the Punjab Assembly on May 14.
The petition will be considered a day after the court-ordered election deadline expires.
Fazl, in a video message published on Saturday, stated that the sit-in will be performed against the protection being granted by a three-member bench of the top court and Islamabad High Court to a “criminal”.