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PDM protests outside election commission against delay in PTI foreign funding case

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PDM leaders on the stage during the protest outside Election Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad, on January 19, 2021. — YouTube

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) is protesting outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against the delay in proceedings of PTI's foreign funding case.

On Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed his government to allow the PDM to protest outside the ECP office. According to Geo News, two platoons of Punjab Rangers have been deployed along with police personnel around the ECP office and main entrance with barbed wire.

The government has beefed up security around the Commission’s building to avoid any untoward incident with Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed reviewing security and is personally monitoring the situation from the Control Room.

Ahmed said this was the first time that the government was allowing such a demonstration on the Constitution Avenue – red zone of the federal capital. “I hope the Opposition parties hold a peaceful protest,” he stressed.

A day earlier, the interior minister had warned the Opposition parties to not take law into their hands during the protest or they would be responsible for the consequences. He said Rawalpindi and Islamabad have been on high alert since December 15 with at least seven terror threats issued by NACTA.

Meeting ahead of rally

A meeting of the senior leadership of the Opposition alliance was held at JUI-F chief Maulana Fazl ur Rehman’s residence in the federal capital. It was attended by PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz, PKMap chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai, PPP’s Sherry Rehman and Raja Pervez Ashraf, Akhtar Mengal, Khurram Dastagir, Amir Haider Khan Hoti and others.

(L to R) PDM leaders on the stage during the protest outside Election Commission of Pakistan and protesters can be seen during the protest in Islamabad, on January 19, 2021. — YouTube

Talking to media after the meeting, Fazl said the PDM was practicing its legal right to protest adding that if the government had deployed containers to prevent the rally then the protestors were prepared to remove them.

It may be noted here that PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is skipping the protest today as he participates in party celebrations for winning Umerkot by-polls.

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Earlier today, PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal told Geo News that the Opposition alliance would present its demands to the ECP and request it to conclude the foreign funding case at the earliest.

Why is the PDM protesting?

The Opposition alliance is protesting against the delay in the proceedings against the Imran Khan-led PTI in the foreign funding case pending before the ECP for six years.

“Decisions against elected prime ministers are given in a few months’ time but verdict against a selected premier has been pending for over six years,” said PDM chief on Monday.

“Foreign funding case is the biggest scandal in Pakistan. Imran Khan has amassed millions in the name of party funds. He took the mother of all NROs to create political instability in the country."

The JUI-F chief claimed PM Imran Khan used charity funds for personal business and to spread chaos in the country.


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