PTI changes venue for Sialkot rally after local Christian community denies permission to use ground – Pakistan

On Saturday, PTI rescheduled its Sialkot meeting, scheduled for 7pm today, after the local Christian community rejected and objected to permits to use its CTI stadium.

Punjab party president Shafkat Mahmoud said at a press conference that the rally will be held at a VIP cricket stadium about 5 kilometers away.

Earlier today, authorities stopped PTI members from erecting structures to prepare for a rally at the CTI Stadium in Sialkot. Serb news tv Police fired tear gas and reported that there were party activists resisting the move.

There were also some arrests, including party leader Usman Dar, although police did not immediately confirm. However, the PTI released a video of Dar and others in a prison van, where he confessed his allegiance to Imran and vowed that such measures would not deter the party.

Fellow party leader Ali Asjad Malhi later told reporters that Dar and other party activists had been released from Narowal.

This morning, television footage showed police officers at the rally site, some with PTI flags around their necks, standing atop a crane that appeared to be trying to prevent the demolition of structures erected for the rally.

A cloud of tear gas was also visible in the video, and another scene showed police arresting some individuals.

Rally – PTI President Imran Khan was due to give a speech as part of his series. salsa The “Azadi March” of the party reached its climax in Islamabad.

On Twitter this afternoon, Imran said, “There is no doubt about it.” He said he would go to Sialcott today.

“What the import government has done to our leadership and workers in Sialkot is absurd, but not unexpected. This gang of criminals on bail and their prison mafia boss in London have always been fascist tactics against their opponents when they come to power. used.”

He used to “use and abuse” democracy when it’s in opposition, and “completely destroy all democratic norms when you come to power”, but now people are against it.

He said his government “did not block any of them. salsa, sit-ins and rallies “because we are committed to democracy”. “I will be in Sialkot today and after hearing Isha’s prayers against this fascist import government, I urge everyone to come out and protest in their area/city,” he added.

‘The land belongs to the Christian community’

Sialkot District Police (DPO) Hasan Iqbal, who was at the scene, told reporters that the local Christian community was against holding the rally, claiming it was their property.

“As you know, we now stand on a land that belongs to the Christian community. [petition] Iqbal added that he had asked Deputy Director Sialkot to listen to both sides and make a decision based on them, requesting that political rallies be not held in the High Court, he added.

The DPO said, without revealing the PTI’s name, “The former admitted that party leaders and representatives of the Christian community came yesterday and that the place belongs to the Christian community.”

He added that “party leaders” sought permission to hold the rally, but the Christian community refused.

He said that the deputy director also suggested an alternative to holding the rally.

DPO Iqbal said, “We have made it clear that we are not opposed to any political activity. It is a legal and constitutional right to hold assemblies. However, it is inappropriate to force assemblies on property belonging to minorities without due process.” said.

“Then we came here and said we could help you with other places. After that you can see what happened.”

“It is not in our authority to arrest or stop the assembly,” he said. “Our job is to carry out the orders of the Deputy Director, made by law by order of the Supreme Court.”

When asked about the containers being placed to block the road, the DPO said a “party” had requested a parking space. “We didn’t block any roads,” he claimed.

Separately, Pastor Majeed Abel of the Presbyterian Church in Pakistan also announced in a video statement that CTI Boys High School, where the meeting place was held, was transferred to the Presbyterian Church (USA) as the property of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Committee to promote education.

In addition to teaching purposes, he said, the campus was used to host the annual missionary events.

“The campus cannot be used for any other purpose,” the pastor said.

As soon as he was informed that PTI had started political activity on campus, he said, “We approached Sialkot DC to overcome this crisis.”

“We’re working on that, and we’re also accessing other forums,” he said, saying he hopes federal, local and local governments will bring justice and support schools from being used for political purposes.

Arrest and release

DPO Iqbal was asked about the matter earlier when the media began reporting the arrests of PTI members, including Dar’s. Information on this will be provided as an official version in the future, and he did not give a definite answer.

However, at the time, the PTI tweeted that several party members, including leader Usman Dar, had been detained. Hours later, PTI leader Ali Asjad Malhi later told reporters that Dar had been released, including PTI workers.

Malhi said the workers had been released from Narowal and that the party is now preparing a new venue for the rally.

Separately, Dar told reporters after his release that when Imran Khan arrives in the city, the Sialkot people, along with the rest of Pakistan, will “make a judgment today”. “What did we do? [to warrant the arrests]? Are we criminals?”

Earlier, when Dar was detained, PTI released a video statement of him speaking in a prison van. Others could see with him.

“They believe our love for the Captain can be restrained by putting us in this prison van or in jail. Listen to me. Put us in jail. We will come out and continue the fight for freedom again. , will rally again, he said, “This storm will not stop. “This passion will never fade,” he added. “We stand with Imran Khan.”

Dar added: “We will be imprisoned, but we will remain loyal to our leader Imran Khan. And listen. We will come out of prison and meet again in Sialkot. Our leader will come back to Sialkot. And under Imran’s guidance. Khan, we will bury this imported government and American puppet forever,” said Dar.

Challenging PTI Leaders

PTI leaders were still challenging and vowed that the rally would continue. Former Planning Minister Assad Umar told Sialkot supporters, “The state is no longer afraid.” captan It is due to arrive this evening.”

Former Secretary of State Farouk Habib said the “fascist” government “had bowed to cowardice”. He also condemned the arrest of Usman Dar.

Shahbaz Gill, chief of staff to PTI President Imran Khan, also rebuked the “import government” for “hooliganism”. “Holding a rally is our fundamental right and no one can stop us,” he added.

‘I negotiated for hours with PTI last night’

Punjab Prime Minister Hamza Shehbaz told reporters in Lahore that authorities held talks with the PTI for three hours the night before because the Christian community had expressed reservations about using the CTI stadium for gatherings.

Hamza was told that the land was privately owned and that PTI could choose another public space for the assembly.

“But they (PTI) were stubborn… He (Imran Khan) wants bloodshed. His ministers and Sheikh Rashid repeatedly talk about blood,” said CM.

‘We will not allow division of religion’

Meanwhile, PML-N’s Ataullah Tarar has warned that the PTI will be arrested if it “makes a religious matter” in the name of protests and “attempts to spread chaos.”

“The church doesn’t want you to use the land they use for religious purposes,” Tarar told reporters in Lahore. “It’s like the PML-N says they want to hold a rally at Bani Gala. Can you give me the land? Traditionally, all rallies have been held on cricket grounds.”

“If you don’t give up on your actions, create divisions based on religion, and try to force meetings to be held on church grounds, you have a prison cell. Our Christian brothers and sisters are Pakistanis as much as Pakistanis. just the way it is.”

He said the white color of the Pakistani flag guarantees their rights. “The Prime Minister (Hamza Shehbaz) has given the executive and law enforcement agencies that there are no permits to promote religious division,” Tarar added.

‘The government told us last night that the assembly was not allowed’

Farrukh Habib later held a press conference in Faisalabad, claiming that PTI had applied 10 days in advance to hold a rally there, but the government had not responded until last night.

“The day before the rally, they said to us, ‘We’re not going to allow you to conduct a rally. good night‘,” he added.

“We know who the master planners are,” Habib said. “The government, with its commissioners on bail and 24 on the ECL (exit control list), has defied governance and runaway dollars.”

“For the past four days, the crime minister has been in London with the hijacker Nawaz Sharif, who has proven to be corrupt,” he added. “The plan was conceived there (London).”

‘Reached yesterday’ land use agreement

PTI Punjab Chairman Shafqat Mahmood said at an afternoon press conference that what happened in Sialkot was “totally illegal” as all matters had been decided by Friday afternoon and a meeting place had been reached.

“I haven’t heard of any obstacles,” Mahmoud added, “but after that, it’s a shame to see how violent it is at 3pm and how unarmed people are beaten.” But he said that such an act “will not stop us.” “The assembly will be held, and it will be held no matter what.”

Then Mahmood announced that the rally would be held at the VIP Cricket Ground at 7pm today. He also appealed to people to attend rallies and exercise their democratic rights.

He also urged local administration to release Dar and other PTI members, saying their arrest charges were “unacceptable”.

The former education minister said the Sialkot episode showed that governments tend to resort to violence.

“Free Usman Dar, Hamza Dar and everyone else and make all arrangements for a peaceful assembly, otherwise this administration and the illegal government will be held accountable for the consequences,” Mahmood warned.

The former federal minister specifically called for his release when others at the press conference pointed out to Mahmoud that Azad Jammu and Kashmir Minister Hamid Rajah had also been arrested.

“Why are you making things worse? What do you want?” he urged the government to “stop using such tactics.” Mahmoud warned, “Let us keep our peaceful struggle peaceful, otherwise the situation will be out of your control.”

He said the PTI would continue peaceful protests and should not interfere in these peaceful protests without revealing the name of a person or department.

“And our struggle is focused on only one thing: elections,” he said.