ISLAMABAD: A leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Gilgit-Baltistan accused the federal government of mounting a campaign against his party, blaming Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan for the arrest of 40 party workers from Taxila, including a provincial legislator.
“Punjab has become a police state. Our 40 party workers from Taxila have been arrested on the directions of the interior minister,” PTI convenor Ghulam Sarwar Khan told a news conference on Monday.
Sarwar, who defeated Chaudhry Nisar from NA-53 in the 2013 general elections, pointed out the foul play in Taxila — which also happens to be another constituency of the interior minister.
While sharing details about the arrest, he said cases were registered against “40 PTI workers including an MPA [Sarwar’s brother] last [Sunday] night and they were then subjected to torture in disregard of all the rules”. “The case was registered on an application by a notorious personality from the neighbourhood over domestic violence but my brother was brought out fromorm the lockup and was beaten up.”
He said recruitments in violation of merit were one of the reasons that Punjab, unlike other provinces, had become a police state where political rivals are victimised.
Talking about the JIT report on the Model Town incident which exonerated Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and former law minister Rana Sanaullah, Ghulam Sarwar said only some police officials were held responsible for the entire incident.
“We would have accepted the report had it investigated the incident after resignations of the Punjab chief minister,” he said as announced support for the Pakistan Awami Tehreek.
The PTI also announced through a statement that it would call a countrywide protest against the Daska incident in which two lawyers were killed during a brawl with police.
“The PTI will give a countrywide protest call against the killings of the PTI lawyers’ wing president advocate Rana Khalid and advocate Irfan Chohan,” said PTI chairman Imran Khan while condemning the killings.
Imran said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had terrorised the people through the use of police. The PTI chief has asked the party workers for a peaceful protest all across the country. Date for the protest yet to be announced.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2015.