Contrary to the tall claims made by the government and the Opposition to gather around one million people each at the D-Chowk ahead of the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan next week, the officials of relevant departments showed that the famous spot in Islamabad have a maximum capacity to accommodate 30,000 to 35,000 people at the same time.
The security officials and those from other relevant departments insisted that although the people tend to fill up the adjoining areas of D-Chowk during the congregations, the claims of political parties are absolutely false. “Anyone claiming to bring one million people at D-Chowk is simply bluffing because a maximum of 35,000 people can be accommodated at the roundabout,” a senior official of the Special Branch of Police said while requesting anonymity.
Meanwhile, noted political expert Dr Huma Baqai, while talking to Bol News, said that if either the government or the Opposition try to forcibly gather even 100,000 people in D-Chowk, it will result in a chaos and will cause massive amount of damage to the surroundings.
Commenting on the current political situation in the country, Dr Baqai lamented how the MNAs and MPAs of so many political parties were switching loyalties just for personal gains. “At the moment the difference between right and wrong has already disappeared in the present political situation. Now they (Opposition) is openly doing horse trading, encouraging floor crossing and keeping people in Sindh House for deals,” she said.
She added that PM Imran Khan is now taking a desperate stance by saying that people are standing by his side. “Imran Khan seems to be already in the election campaign mode as he is not behaving like the prime minister but as an opposition leader,” she observed.
Dr Baqai said that PML-Q and other allies of the government are ready to play any game for their own interest which points to political bankruptcy in Pakistani. “Previously, the PML-N was daggers drawn with PML-Q, but now it is ready to give it chief minister’s slot. “This is regrettable and a worse kind of politics.”
She recalled that Imran Khan in 2011 had stated that these parties would eventually get united against him and his words have come true now.
However, she said the establishment is actively monitoring the situation. “When the Military Establishment stated that let the OIC summit be held peacefully in Islamabad, everybody agreed with it. That is the bottom line.”
“It is quite possible that the umpire is neutral at the moment, but the whistle is still being blown by the umpire,” she commented.
Senior political analyst and journalist Sajjad Mir said that presently Imran Khan is fighting his war as a fighter, but his ‘lashkar’ has already accepted defeat.
“PTI still have the strength of its supporters and the premier also has his charisma, but the situation is really tough now after so many defections,” he observed. “The government by using its resources can assemble a lot of people at the D-Chowk but it would not be the right thing to do, legally and morally.”
Mir endorsed the views of relevant departmet officials that not more than 30,000 to 40,000 people can be accommodated at the D-Chowk. “There would be a law and order situation if either the government or the opposition try to forcibly bring a large number of people at the proposed arena at the same time. One million is too far-fetched a figure, but I admit that the government can gather a very large number of people in Islamabad, but certainly not in D-Chowk which does not have the capacity.”
It is also a fact that maintaining law and order is the responsibility of the government and it should avoid holding mass gatherings at D-Chowk in the present political situation, said Mir.
He said clash of the government and the opposition would allow intervention of the ‘forces’. However, he dismissed the chances of martial law in Pakistan. “Things are not so bad as to warrant a martial law.”
Mir concluded by saying that PM Imran Khan must face the no-confidence motion in the House and he should also gracefully accept the result.