PTI leaders stage protest outside ECP office

News Desk
Friday, Aug 05, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders converged outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) headquarters here on Wednesday, on the call of party chairman Imran Khan — who had urged people to protest against the electoral body as well as Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja — in defiance of district administration’s orders barring any protest inside the Red Zone.

Protesters carrying placards climbed over barbed wires that were installed to prevent any entry into the area and had a brief run in with police, who later dispersed them, Geo News reported.

Speaking outside the ECP office, the protesting party leaders demanded the resignation of CEC Sultan Raja. Fawad Chaudhry said getting rid of Imran Khan was as difficult as proving Nawaz Sharif trustworthy, adding: “If you want accountability, first be accountable about your own palaces”.

Earlier in the day, Khan announced a change in the party’s protest venue, urging supporters to gather in Islamabad’s F9 Park to demonstrate instead of outside the CEC headquarters as previously announced. “Today I am calling all our people to come out in peaceful public protest against CEC & ECP in F9 Park at 6pm. I will be addressing the gathering between 7pm and 7:30 pm,” he wrote on Twitter. After the party decided to change the protest venue, the district administration granted it permission to gather at F9 Park and Sector H9.

An official notification authorising the protest had also been issued. It, however, warned the party that all rules and regulations must be followed while staging the demonstration. In anticipation of disturbance by protesters, Islamabad’s district administration had sealed the Red Zone and placed containers at the entry points of the federal capital. Personnel of law enforcement agencies including anti-riot force, Rangers, Frontier Constabulary and police had been deployed around the Red Zone. In a press conference a day earlier, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had warned PTI of strict action against those who would try to enter the Red Zone.

The protest came after the ECP on Tuesday announced the verdict on the PTI’s prohibited funding case — which was earlier referred to as the foreign funding case.