ISLAMABAD: In what appears to be an attempt to curb political speech and assembly, Islamabad police have registered a case against two identified and several other unidentified participants of the joint opposition’s protest against alleged rigging on Wednesday. The two suspects identified in the FIR are accused of chanting slogans against Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar. The FIR registered on the complaint of an Assistant Commissioner under the controversial terrorism law among other laws at the Secretariat police station has nominated Imtiaz Raja and Kausar Gillani. The complainant states that he had come across a video showing the two suspects and several others using ‘derogatory slogans against worthy state institutions’. The police has registered the case under terrorism, insult to judiciary, rioting, and unlawful assembly charges. In a statement issued on the matter, Pakistan People’s Party distanced itself from use of abusive language in protest demonstrations and rejected the practice. A party spokesperson said that the party believed in and practiced principled politics, adding that it would continue to raise a strong and powerful voice on all issues, while at the same time, rejecting vendetta and abusive language in political discourse. Earlier on Wednesday, Pakistan Alliance for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFE), an amalgam of 11 political parties formed to protest rigging, staged a protest outside ECP office. The protesters marched from Parliament House to ECP office and demonstrated against the alleged poll rigging. Intense slogans were also raised against the commission. Mainstream leadership of the PML-N, PPP and ANP, meanwhile stayed away from the protest. The 11-party alliance consists of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Awami National Party (ANP), Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), National Party (NP) and the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) – an alliance of five religio-political parties including Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI). Published in Daily Times, August 10th 2018.