Islamabad police bans services ahead of Azadi march

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Islamabad, Oct 19 (IANS) Islamabad Police have banned on providing catering, sound system and tent services to the protesters of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islams (JUI-F) Azadi March to be held here on October 31. Hotels, motels and guest houses have also been asked not to offer them accommodation.

In a written warning notice, the Islamabad Police also warned crane and excavator machine operators, power generator vendors, welders and hardware stores against offering their products and services to the participants of the protest.

According to Pakistani media reports, all 22 police stations of Islamabad have issued notices to the service providers and business owners operating in their jurisdiction.

As per the notice, supply of any tools, accessories and equipment for the protest is strictly prohibited. Those found involved in the activity would face action, the notice said.

Rejecting the warning, the traders’ organisation, All Pakistan Anjuman Tajaran questioned how could an institution prohibit traders from earning their living? It said that the law does not allow any such move.

“Not long ago, people from PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) would procure food from catering services and hotels in Islamabad and Rawalpindi when they were on their anti-government protests and staged a sit-in for 126 days,” said Ajmal Baloch, President of the traders organisation, adding that there were no such restrictions back then so why is such a ban being placed right now?

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman will march on Islamabad on October 31 to “topple the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government”, accusing it of coming into power through rigged elections.

All major opposition parties including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Awami National Party (ANP) and Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) have announced their support for the protests.

–IANS

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