Punjab police given ‘free hand’ to maintain writ of state
Punjab’s caretaker government has given a “free hand” to the police to maintain the writ of the state—a decision that comes two days after a raid at PTI chief Imran Khan’s residence in Lahore.
“We have told the police today morning that they will do whatever they can in order to maintain the writ of the government,” Punjab government’s Interim Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi said at a press conference in Lahore.
He warned that the police would respond with equal force if attacked again.
Many policemen and supporters of PTI were injured when the latter tried to prevent the former from conducting a raid at Zaman Park–Khan’s residence–on Sunday. The riot police came started the operation after the PTI chief left for Islamabad along with a cavalcade to appear in court.
There were terrorists inside the house, the government and the police have claimed, adding that weapons, items for petrol bombs, and slingshots were recovered from there.
Images and footage showed that water canons and an excavator were brought for the operation. Another clip showed that miscreants attacked a police vehicle in Lahore on Sunday night.
The former ruling party has accused the caretaker setup of assaulting and arresting their workers.
“A normal political worker does not stop and attack a police vehicle on the road,” Naqvi said before saying that the police would now respond to those who attack them.
“It will not happen that policemen are continued to be attacked and we don’t do anything,” he said, “for many days I was telling them [police] to not respond as it is a political party.”
He alleged that many people who have been involved in terrorism were present there.
“This time, if anyone takes action in any way they will get a befitting response,” Naqvi said and reiterated that terrorists take such actions.
The PTI has slammed the interim setup and described them as a “mini-PDM government” in the province.
JIT will be formed to investigate ‘terrorist activities’
The caretaker government has decided to form a joint investigation team (JIT) to investigate all the terrorist activities that occurred over the past five to seven days. A notification would be issued later in the day.
Naqvi-led administration has maintained that Zaman Park had become a “no-go area” for the residents and the operation was launched for the purpose to clear it.
The JIT would investigate all the developments and check whether people from other provinces had come or not. The interim set-up has also decided to send a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan, detailing the political developments over the week.
Policemen suffering from minor injuries would be given Rs100,000 and those having critical injuries would be given Rs500,000 by the government.
‘Threat’ by Imran
The caretaker setup of Punjab would not accept any disrespect for the police, Naqvi said in reaction to PTI chief Imran Khan.
He advised the former prime minister to withdraw the security if he was wary of the police duties and actions.
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