The leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has condemned the attack on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Azadi march convoy.
In an official statement released through PPP spokesperson Farhatullah Babar on Friday, former president and party co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari strongly condemned the incident. The PTI convoy, in particular party chief Imran Khan’s vehicle, was pelted with stones as it passed through Gujranwala.
Zardari termed the incident an “unacceptable demonstration of intolerance towards political dissent,” and said it would only add to existing tense political situation. He demanded an inquiry into the matter and the arrest and punishment of those found responsible.
Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah also termed hurling of stones on political rallies a ‘condemnable precedent’. Calling upon the Punjab government to take action against those responsible for inciting violence, he suggested the authorities use video footage to identify the perpetrators.
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Secretary General Liaquat Baloch also slammed the incident, saying a peaceful rally should not be turned into a violent one.
Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi held Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif responsible for the attack.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2014.