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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

No permission to lawyers, opposition parties' to stage-in outside

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, March 13, IRNA – The parliament was told on Thursday that participants of an anti-government march will not be allowed to stage sit-in outside the parliament but they could hold protest in an alternate place in the capital.

The lawyers and opposition parties insist they will hold the sit-in outside the parliament house to press the government to restore the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, sacked by former President Pervez Musharraf.

Opposition parties say that the police have arrested over 200 activists in Punjab and Sindh province to foil the long-march.

Information Minister Sherry Rehman defended the arrests and said there is no other option as some opposition leaders have adopted the path of rebellion.

Interior Advisor Rehman Malik told the National Assembly that the long-march cannot be allowed near the parliament because important government offices are located there and diplomatic enclave is also nearby.

He said diplomatic corps has asked him in writing whether they should leave the area or the government will provide them necessary security.

“They have been told that the government would ensure their security”.

Malik said he has also written a letter to opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, conveying them reservations expressed by foreign diplomats about polarization in security threats.

The Advisor on Interior told the House that apart from dangers on eastern and western borders, there are also security threats during long march.

He said the intelligence agencies have gathered authentic information and he would like to share this with the House in an in-camera session.

He admitted arrests of the activists of opposition parties and said he has sought report from the governor Punjab as to why they have been arrested.

He said he had constituted a committee headed by Chief Commissioner Islamabad to talk to the lawyers who were told to hold sit-in in other venues away from the parliament and diplomatic enclave.

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