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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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    Political tension high as Pakistan’s capital braces for ex-Premier Khan’s march

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    Pakistan’s capital Islamabad was placed on high alert as a result of political tension rising after former prime minister Imran Khan announced on Tuesday that he would hold a “long march” on Friday to demand that the government call new general elections.

    In order to prevent Khan’s supporters from entering the city, the government has also begun making plans to send out thousands of security personnel.

    Approximately 30,000 police, rangers, and paramilitary troops will be deployed in the capital, according to officials, and protesters will not be permitted to enter the red-zone area near the parliament building.

    The red-zone area is home to the President’s House, the Prime Minister’s House, ministerial offices, parliament, and other significant structures, including foreign embassies.

    According to a government official who spoke to Anadolu Agency on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media, “The government has already decided to call out the army to assist the civil administration in security.”

    In addition, the ministry has sent out the federal paramilitary Frontier Constabulary (FC), and Sindh provincial police will be called in to help the Islamabad capital police, the official said.

    In order to block off all entry points in Islamabad before the arrival of protesters, the authorities also sent hundreds of containers there.

    The Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, which border the capital Islamabad, are currently controlled by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, while Sindh is currently ruled by the Pakistan People’s Party, a member of the ruling coalition of the Pakistan Democratic Movement, or PDM.

    Khan announced the start of his protest from Lahore on Friday, with participants coming from all over the nation, at a news conference on Tuesday in the city of Lahore in Pakistan’s southeast.

    He added that despite his repeated warnings, the government is still not prepared to hold the vote, which is scheduled for late 2023. “This will be the largest long march in the history of the country,” he said.

    As families join the march, they will continue to be peaceful, but Khan added that the government will be held accountable “if they use any force against peaceful people.”

    As Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is scheduled to visit Beijing in the first week of November, Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal accused Khan of announcing the protest march as the government was preparing for an important meeting in China.

    Imran Niazi is attempting to sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor by organising a “fitnah (noxious) march,” according to a tweet he posted.

    Beginning in 2013, infrastructure projects across Pakistan are being built as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

    Khan announced his long march after being disqualified by the Pakistani Election Commission for failing to disclose gifts and alleged sale proceeds he allegedly received while serving as prime minister.

    He is not, however, prohibited from running in elections in the future, according to the Islamabad High Court.

    In a by-election earlier this month that he claimed was a referendum on his support, he won six of the seven seats in the National Assembly.

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