Prohibitory orders imposed in Islamabad as Imran Khan's party begins protests against polls rigging

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Supporters of Khan's PTI party block the road as they protest against the alleged rigging

Supporters of Khan's PTI party block the road as they protest against the alleged rigging

Islamabad: Authorities on Saturday imposed prohibitory orders here in Pakistan's capital as jailed former prime minister Imran Khan's party began nationwide protests against alleged rigging and stealing of its mandate in the recent elections.


Criticising the outcome of the polls, which saw the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party-backed independent candidates emerging as the largest group by winning over 90 National Assembly seats, the PTI announced holding countrywide "peaceful protests" against what it termed "record-high rigging".

The protests began with a march in Wana in South Waziristan of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The party has decided to sit in the Opposition in Parliament.


"The PTI has called for country-wide protests against the unprecedented, massive, brazen rigging in general elections 2024, where PTI’s win of 180 National Assembly seats and a two-thirds majority in the parliament, was cut down to half," the party said in a statement.

"The 2024 elections would be remembered in the country's history due to the scale of rigging," PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan said.

The Islamabad police have said that section 144 is in force in the city and the security is on “high alert”, as the PTI is set to begin its countrywide protests, the Dawn newspaper reported.


Without directly referring to protests, it said that there could be increased traffic near the F9 park and urged the public to avoid “unnecessary travel” on the nearby routes.

The police said that special forces of the Counter Terrorism Department had been deployed on patrol to deal with any emergency.

“Patrolling has been increased across the district while checking has been tightened at checkpoints,” it added.


Khan's PTI is not the only party that has voiced its concerns over the February 8 polls, as the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), and others have also complained of rigging during the elections.

Ahead of the PTI's protests, authorities have issued two threat alerts owing to serious threats of terrorism from specific banned groups, reported The News.

With the protesters being duly warned about the alerts and against unlawful assembly in the federal capital, Islamabad Police Inspector General (IG) Dr Akbar Nasir Khan has stressed that nobody would be allowed to assemble or protest at any place in the federal capital at any public place.


The report said that additional troops of Punjab Rangers have been directed to deal with any eventuality in the city.

Independent candidates - a majority backed by Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) - won 93 of the 265 National Assembly seats that were contested in the February 8 election.

However, PTI's two main rivals appear on course to form a coalition government after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) formed a post-poll alliance on Tuesday.


The PML-N won 75 seats while the PPP came third with 54 seats. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) has also agreed to support them with their 17 seats.

To form a government, a party must win 133 seats out of 265 contested seats in the 266-member National Assembly.

Meanwhile, according to Geo News, differences have emerged between the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s lawyers and political leadership as the latter wants to hold talks with other parties for a political settlement, whereas the former desires otherwise.