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Pakistan: Caretaker Punjab CM gives ‘free hand’ to police if they are attacked by PTI workers

CM Mohsin Naqvi also announced the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on the chaos that ensued at Zaman Park last week

ANI | New Delhi |


Caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin Naqvi on Monday gave a ‘free hand’ to the police if they were ‘attacked’ again and announced the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on the chaos that ensued at Zaman Park last week, Tribune reported.

While holding a press conference in Lahore, said the provincial government has decided to send all the details of the incident to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Naqvi added that it is important to convey that the state and governance exist in the province. “Two days ago the operation was done to clear the road because the roads cannot be kept closed permanently,” he added.

He further said that the police and Rangers had “reached the gate of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s house but were called back twice because the government did not want any bloodshed”.

Naqvi also stated that an elite force vehicle was stopped and thrown into the canal.

“If a police vehicle is thrown into the canal, then the writ of the state does not exist, but now the writ of government will be established and the hands moving towards the police will be broken,” he warned, Tribune reported.

The caretaker chief minister also said that the inspector general (IG) has been given full authority to take appropriate steps, adding that the tenure of Rangers has also been extended, Tribune reported.

He further said that whatever happened during the Zaman Park operation was not done by political workers, adding that “everyone knows who they were”.

Elaborating that he stands with the province’s police force, the caretaker CM warned of an equivalent response against anyone who “raises their hands against the police”.

While showing a video of the “torture of the police by PTI workers”, Naqvi said that it is not possible for the police to work and take a beating at the same time.

“Political activity is everyone’s right, but this attitude is intolerable,” he maintained.

Naqvi also said that the former prime minister is threatening the police, adding that if he does not trust the police, then he let go of the security provided by the Punjab police.

The caretaker CM also announced a compensation package for the injured policemen. He said that the caretaker government has decided to give PKR 1 Lakh to lightly injured policemen and PKR Five Lakhs to those who suffered severe injuries, Tribune reported.

On March 18, police stormed into the PTI chief’s Zaman Park residence in Lahore, knocking down all barricades and doors to launch a ‘surprise’ search operation inside the property.

During the operation, PTI workers reportedly clashed with the elite force and other police personnel and destroyed official vehicles.

According to the first information report (FIR) of a case filed against PTI leaders and workers, the senior leadership of PTI had invited armed persons from the area, and 13 police officers including a DSP were injured due to stone pelting by PTI workers.

Moreover, police also claimed that Constable Shafiq was tortured by 40 PTI workers on his way back from duty.