Islamabad implements ‘Section 144’ amidst election disputes

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The Islamabad Police have declared a ban on illegal gatherings within the federal capital under the enforcement of Section 144, as reported by ARY News. Islamabad Police remarked, ‘No illegal gathering will be allowed in Islamabad in view of Section 144, which is in force in the federal capital.’ According to a spokesperson of the Islamabad Police, “Protest is the fundamental right of everyone, but any illegal act will not be allowed,” as per ARY News.

“He said legal action would be taken against those who would resort to violence.” The statement added According to ARY News, the announcement comes amidst the backdrop of various political parties planning protests against alleged electoral irregularities in the recently conducted elections. Notably, Pakistan’s recent elections failed to produce a clear majority for any single party, with independent candidates supported by a jailed former prime minister securing 92 out of 264 seats, emerging as the largest group.

The political landscape in Pakistan remains uncertain as none of the major political parties–Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), or Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed independent candidates–attained a simple majority in the National Assembly during the general elections held on February 8. Efforts are underway among political stakeholders to form alliances and secure 169 seats in the 336-member lower house of parliament.

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PTI-backed independent candidates consolidated their lead in the 2024 general elections over mainstream political parties, especially in the National and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assemblies, throughout the result announcement process.