Sheikh Rashid convenes LEAs meeting on eve of PDM protest

Islamabad commissioner, IGs of capital police, Punjab and K-P and others will review security measures at ECP

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Saturday convened a meeting of senior police and administration officials on Monday (tomorrow) to review security measures at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), a day before the planned protest of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) there.

At the meeting, sources said, the inspector generals of police of Islamabad, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad commissioner as well as senior officials from other law-enforcement agencies would evaluate the security arrangements at ECP and in the Red Zone of the federal capital.

The PDM, an 11-party opposition alliance, had announced earlier this month that it would hold a protest outside the ECP on January 19 (Tuesday) against delay in the conclusion of the foreign funding case against the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Read more: PPP won’t go for undemocratic means to oust PM Imran: Bilawal

On Friday, the ECP approached the Islamabad administration through a letter to the chief commissioner, saying that the PDM should be allowed to protest only in a specific area adjacent to the Constitution Avenue, so that the working of the election supervisor was not affected.

“The Election Commission is a constitutional body,” an official of the interior ministry said on Saturday. “Necessary security measures will be reviewed” before the protest because it would be taking place in a sensitive area, the official added.

According to the official, the meeting, which will be chaired by the interior minister, will review the security at the entry points to the federal capital and strategies to increase security in the Red Zone, keeping in view the fact that important offices were located on the Constitution Avenue.

Earlier, the ECP issued guidelines for its officers and employees in connection with the PDM protest in a notification. It said that all employees would bring office cards with them on January 19 for security clearance to the Election Commission Secretariat.

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