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Jailed former premier Imran Khan’s party postpones Islamabad rally after cancellation of NOC

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
| Photo Credit: AP

Jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on July 6 postponed its rally in the suburbs of Islamabad after revocation of its permission by the authorities, citing security concerns.

The party was set to organise its power show at Tarnol at 6 p.m. for which it had secured a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Islamabad deputy commissioner.

However, the city administration on July 5 cancelled the permission saying that the NOC issued by the deputy commissioner was reviewed afresh in the wake of security concerns.

An official press release said the chief commissioner decided to cancel the certificate issued for the political gathering in view of the current security situation, the advent of Muharram, security concerns and reports of law enforcement agencies.

Initially, the PTI leadership had threatened to go ahead with the rally despite the cancellation of permission. PTI leader Omar Ayub Khan told reporters late last night that his party would go ahead with the planned meeting “come what may”.

However, there was a change of stance and today Omar accompanied by PTI chief Gohar Khan said at a press conference that the planned rally had been postponed until after the Muharram.

“God willing […] we will hold it after Ashura through a legal process,” Omar said, adding that the PTI would not sit after one rally but it would hold several other rallies in Lahore, Karachi and other cities.

Gohar Khan claimed that several PTI workers had been picked up in recent days, vowing to take the matter before the court. “We strongly condemn this state brutality,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the party filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking contempt proceedings against the Islamabad district administration and police for cancelling the NOC.

It stated that the party had approached the IHC for permission for the rally and during the hearing of its petition, the court was told by the administration that permission had been granted for the rally.

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