Opposition Leader in the Provincial Assembly Mian Mehmoodur Rashid said on Monday the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had asked the inspector general of police, the home secretary and the district coordination officers to release party workers detained under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance and Section 144 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
He said the detained workers were being pressured to give undertaking that they would end their affiliation with the PTI and not participate in the ongoing sit-in in Islamabad.
“The administration should stay away from politics. They should let lawyers meet the arrested workers,” the PTI leader said.
The relatives of the arrested workers told Rashid the government had arrested the party workers during a crackdown on August 13, 14 and 30. They said they had no clue about the whereabouts of the detained workers.
The opposition leader said those who had sacrificed for the party should not consider themselves abandoned. He said a committee had been formed to provide legal assistance to the detained workers.
“On one hand, the ruling party talks about negotiation; on the other PTI workers are being arrested. The rulers must give up this hypocrisy.”
He said the prime minister and chief minister would be held responsible if a single PTI worker was harmed.
Former law minister Rana Sanaullah said only those who had resorted to illegal activities following Imran Khan’s call for civil disobedience had been arrested. “Only those forcing shopkeepers to close their businesses have been arrested,” he told The Express Tribune.
He said those arrested were not peaceful workers.
“We don’t want people to give any undertaking… they are quitting the PTI on their own,” said Sanaullah.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2014.
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