Imran Khan Instructed PTI Supporters To Reach D-Chowk, IG Police Tells SC

Imran Khan Instructed PTI Supporters To Reach D-Chowk, IG Police Tells SC
A report submitted to the Supreme Court by Inspector General of Islamabad Police Dr Akbar Nasir Khan revealed that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters had reached D-Chowk on the directives of party Chairman Imran Khan during their long march last month.

The report, submitted on Friday, detailed the events leading up to the arrival of the crowd at D-Chowk, and revealed that it had organized and advanced forward towards the Red Zone under the orders of "the party's highest command".

The Supreme Court had on June 1 asked law enforcement agencies such as the director-generals of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB), IG Islamabad, interior secretary to provide detailed reports to ascertain whether the PTI had violated orders by instigating its’ supporters to reach Islamabad’ D-Chowk.

In the report submitted by the Islamabad IG in the apex court today, the seven questions put forward by the bench were answered in detail.

What time did Imran Khan announce that party workers should reach D Chowk?

According to the report, on May 25, at 6:50pm, Imran, via a video message near Chach Interchange, Attock, had "acknowledged the Supreme Court's judgement and called upon public to reach D-Chowk," adding that he would be reaching the area too within an hour or so.

The report said that the message was telecast on mainstream media channels at 7:38pm, and then another announcement was made by Imran at 9:54pm after crossing the Attock bridge.

When, where and how did the crowd cross the barricade to enter the previously closed area?

"After the decision of the Supreme Court, police, Rangers and FC were directed to show maximum restraint and they stopped any further action so that the protesters can reach the G-9/H-9 area. However, groups of people led by the leaders kept on moving towards D-Chowk on Jinnah Avenue which is a different route than Sri Nagar Highway. Police and LEAs moved back towards Red Zone as per direction of the police command," said the report.

The report also said that protestors were armed with wooden sticks and threw stones at the LEAs, adding that they were also "using vehicles to run over police officers", who "only had batons to push the protesters".

Was the crowd's movement towards the Red Zone spontaneous, or did it seem organized?

According to the report, the movement of the marchers had been organized under the directives of the party leader.

"In their social media posts from 7:54pm on May 25, Fawad Chaudhry, Saifullah Niazi and Zartaj Gul kept on urging workers to reach D-Chowk to welcome Imran Khan."

The report further included answers to the remaining four questions which helped paint an accurate sketch of what had happened between May 25 and 26. It said that there were initially only 200-300 protestors in the Red Zone, but the number then increased to 800.

The report also said that the counter-actions by the police were well within the ambit of the law, and they had not even been issued firearms despite having verified information "about armed personnel among the protestors".