By Kaswar Klasra:
HUNDREDS of flex banners bearing an Indian parliamentarians remark about acquiring Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Balochistan appeared near the National Assembly here a day after India reclassified Jammu and Kashmir as a Union Territory. The banners were put up only a few hundred metres away from the Pakistani Parliament and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s residence here. The banners carried a map envisioning “Akhand Bharat” (undivided India) showing parts of the present-day States of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and warnings about Balochistan.
These banners were erected on electric poles on a busy road in front of the National Press Club in sector F6, right in the heart of Islamabad. They were reportedly put up before dawn and first spotted by the locals as they were heading to work. Sajid Mahmood, a businessman, was among the first to spot them. He made a video and posted it on Twitter and Facebook.
The two-minute-long video went viral and prompted law-enforcement agencies here to remove the posters immediately. ‘Dawn’ newspaper earlier on Wednesday reported that police have arrested a suspect from Blue Area who is believed to have been responsible for having placed the banners. Initial interrogation revealed that the suspect was into printing business, and had received orders for those banners from a resident of Gujranwala.
The news about the banners sparked anger among the residents of Islamabad. They questioned how someone could manage to pull off such an act right in the heart of Islamabad. “It’s the failure of our law enforcement agencies, who couldn’t intercept those erecting anti-State posters in the heart of Islamabad,” said Sajid Ali, a resident of Sector F6 in Islamabad, where these banners were found. When journalists reached the spot to take photographs of the banners, they were intercepted by the police.