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Pakistanis urge Gen Bajwa to take action on police crackdown against PTI leaders

Currently, the situation is very tense in Pakistan. There are also fears that the Azadi March will result in violence. Therefore, Pakistanis are urging COAS Bajwa to take action and save the country from succumbing to further crisis. 

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Pakistan is currently going through an alarming democratic turmoil as reports emerge of Punjab police barging into PTI leaders’ and supporters’ homes to arrest them without any warrants. Amid the chaos, Pakistanis are urging Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Bajwa to take action against the police crackdown.

Two days ago, Punjab’s anti-corruption department took former human rights minister Shireen Mazari into custody in Islamabad. The incident ignited a firestorm of denunciation across the board.

Soon after, reports surfaced on social media of police raiding the homes of other PTI leaders and workers, for instance, former minister Hammad Azhar. According to details, Police raided Hammad Azhar’s residence in Abu Bakar Block New Garden Town Lahore on late Monday night to arrest him.

Read more: PTI leader, cancer survivor Yasmeen Rashid mistreated by Punjab Police

The police allegedly used a ladder to enter the house of Hammad Azhar. However, the police failed in the attempt as Hammad Azhar was not present at home at the time of the police raid. Former provincial minister Dr. Yasmin, who was present at the residence of Hammad Azhar, said the police also wanted to arrest her. However, she refused to go with them.

Similarly, the police also allegedly camped outside the house of Firdous Ashiq Awan, Sheikh Rasheed, Fayyaz Chohan, Ijaz Chaudhry, Asad Umar, Usman Dar etc. As per reports, 73 workers were arrested. The police are also resorting to harassing family members of PTI leaders, for instance, Justice (retd.) Nasira Javed Iqbal. She is the mother of PTI Senator Walid Iqbal and also the daughter-in-law of the great poet and leader Allama Iqbal. The raid at her house, that too without a warrant, has left Twitteratis seething with anger as such actions are unbecoming of a democratic country.

Questionable timings?

Interestingly, the raids and arrests come ahead of the PTI Azadi March which is set to begin on May 25th. During Sunday’s presser where he announced the march, PTI Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan demanded a date for a fresh election as well as the dissolution of assemblies. He also sent a message to the country’s military and asked it to adhere to its promise of “neutrality.”

On the other hand, the police crackdown picked up pace after Imran Khan’s announcement. As a result, the PML-N government is being harshly criticized for attempting to arrest PTI leaders in a bid to foil the Azadi March. Reacting to the police raids, Imran Khan called the PML-N government “fascist”.

Read more: PML-N govt criticised for spending on ‘media appeasement’

“The brutal crackdown on PTI leaders and workers in Punjab and Islamabad has once again shown us what we are familiar with – the fascist nature of PML-N when in power,” he said.

Currently, the situation is very tense in Pakistan. There are also fears that the Azadi March will result in violence. Therefore, Pakistanis are urging COAS Bajwa to take action and save the country from succumbing to further crisis.

“General Qamar Javed Bajwa Sahib Pakistan is in a catastrophic situation. The economy is in a world of conflict. The country is about to go bankrupt. Unfortunately, political leadership is drowning in corruption. General Sahib, you have the power to make the situation better,” leading journalist Kamran Khan tweeted.