The Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) plans to stage a protest march in central Karachi Jan. 17. The purpose of the action is to denounce the central government’s approval of the 2017 census; PSP supporters allege the census misrepresented the city's population, with the resulting constituency delimitations unfairly influencing Pakistan's 2018 general election. The march was originally slated to take place on Jan. 10, but party leaders postponed it out of respect for the victims of a recent Islamic State (IS) attack near Quetta. Protesters will gather at Pakistan House in the Nursery area at 1400 Jan. 17, before marching along Shahrah-e-Faisal highway to the Karachi Press Club. The event could draw hundreds of participants, though attendance may be affected by gathering restrictions that have been imposed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Security personnel will almost certainly monitor the procession and may enforce COVID-19 gathering restrictions. Skirmishes are possible, especially if security personnel forcibly attempt to disperse demonstrators. Localized transport disruptions are likely on and near the intended march route.
Avoid the protest due to possible skirmishes. If violence breaks out, leave the area immediately and take shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building. Heed all security personnel instructions. Allow additional travel time near the march route.
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