Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has announced a sit-in in Islamabad on March 23 hours after the ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) said it would hold a rally at D-Chowk on the eve of the no-confidence motion vote.
The presence of contending factions in Islamabad portend a possible showdown in the capital city, amid existing security concerns for parliamentarians. The no-confidence vote has been scheduled to take place on March 28.
“We will pay back you in the same coin,” the Maulana said, responding to the government’s veiled threats to physically prevent or disqualify lawmakers from attending the National Assembly session.
Earlier, a volunteer force of the JUI-F engaged in a scuffle with Islamabad police after they entered the Parliament Lodges to provide security for opposition members. Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid condemned the operation, saying that the government could and would provide security for any lawmaker who needed it.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) – which is not a part of the PDM – Senator Sherry Rehman said that her party had been invited to the jasla and would decide on whether to formally join in due time.
In response to the PDM’s sit-in Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry accused the group of attempting to disrupt the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) session to be held in Islamabad during the same time, adding that the government ‘knows how to deal with riots’.