ISLAMABAD, May 15 : Workers of the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) on Monday set up a stage in front of the Supreme Court Judges Gate as the ruling alliance announced to stage a sit-in right outside the top court building today to protest against what it describes as the judiciary’s preferential treatment of former premier and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.
The convoy of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) also left for Islamabad under the leadership of Divisional Vice President Rana Raffakat to join the protest.
Meanwhile, the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police requested the protesters to remain peaceful, saying that there is a threat of terrorist activity.
Earlier, PDM workers who came out in the form of caravans carried the flags of their parties, while at some places, in the form of protest rallies, the workers raised slogans against the SC chief justice and in favour of the Pakistan Army.
According to reports, the first convoy of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam- Fazl (JUI-F) Rawalpindi reached Committee Chowk in the morning.
The convoy, which is headed by Emir Punjab Atiqur Rehman, had left for Islamabad from Murree Road.
Workers of the ruling coalition party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) also started gathering on Murree Road outside the Allama Iqbal Park.
Moreover, convoys of workers from other PDM parties also started reaching Embassy Road. The protestors are being allowed to walk towards the SC from Serena Chowk.
A heavy contingent of police and Frontier Crops (FC) are deployed outside the apex court and Sharae Dastur has been closed for traffic temporarily.
JUI-F workers were also seen climbing the gate and entering the Red Zone area.
A day earlier, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, who is also the head of the ruling coalition PDM, appealed to the entire nation to participate in a peaceful protest outside the SC today.
The PML-N and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have announced full participation in the protest, however, Awami National Party (ANP) will not participate in the sit-in.
The ruling coalition and a section of the superior judiciary led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial have been at odds since February this year when the top court started suo motu proceedings on delay in the announcement of dates for elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) provinces.
However, this acrimony intensified when a three-judge bench led by CJP Bandial on May 11 declared the arrest of the PTI chairman from inside the IHC illegal.