News Analysis |
Senior leaders and workers of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have been booked under terrorism and other charges for “inciting” the crowd to violate the law in Lahore and in other cities of the province.
In the latest development, the Punjab government has booked PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, his son Hamza, former Prime Minister Khaqan Abbasi and 50 other leaders of the party including PML-N spokesperson Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb, former National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq and senior leader Javed Hashmi.
The main allegations against the PML-N leaders include damaging public buildings and properties, hurling threats and injuring the law enforcement agencies officials. Shehbaz Sharif, and his son Hamza, are accused of hurling serious threats at the policemen and other government employees when they tried to stop them.
The workers of the former ruling party came on the streets and made attempts to go to the airport to welcome their leader Nawaz Sharif. The government had, however, placed containers and deployed forces to stop people going to the airport for unstated security reasons.
They were also accused of interfering in the official work, violating Section 144 of PPC and the code of conduct issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the candidates, besides holding illegal assemblies and rallies.
“The suspects attacked the police personnel who were present there to provide them security, injured our 20 cops, four ranger personnel, damaged public property and hurled serious threats at the officials of the law enforcement agencies”, said the DIG Shahzad Akbar. FIRs were also registered against the PML-N leaders and workers in Faisalabad and Sahiwal for violating the law and attacking the security personnel.
Rally of PML-N Workers
In Lahore, the workers of the former ruling party came on streets and attempting to go to the airport to welcome their leader Nawaz Sharif. The government had, however, placed containers and deployed forces to stop people from going to the airport for unstated security reasons.
Moreover, a clash took place between PML-N workers and the police at Ravi toll plaza.According to the police, an assistant sub-inspector and two constables were injured in the clash. Nawaz was not allowed to come out of the airport to address his party workers and was taken into custody.
Caretaker Government in Punjab faces floods of criticism
The caretaker government in Punjab has been criticized for disrupting the attempts made by PML-N workers to reach Lahore airport in order to welcome Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz. Some journalists and political commentators suggested that the workers of PML-N should not have been stopped to welcome their leaders. It was evident that Nawaz was not coming out of the airport to address the party workers, said some analysts.
The main allegations against the PML-N leaders include damaging public buildings and properties, hurling threats and injuring the law enforcement agencies officials.
Supporters should have been given their democratic right to demonstrate peacefully and welcome the ousted Prime Minister, they added. The government has, however, made it clear that there were severe security threats across the country. To maintain law and order, the caretaker government argued, it was not viable to allow protesters to be gathered near the airport.
It must be remembered that in a deadly suicide bomb blast in the southern Pakistani province of Balochistan, almost more than 128 people had been killed and over 200 injured on the same day. Attacks in Peshawar and Bannu were also reported in the last few days. Considering these unfortunate terror incidents, the caretaker government preferred to keep the security of the country intact.
FIRs against PML-N leadership; A Political Matter?
FIRs registered during such political rallies are considered to be generally politically motivated and carry no legal basis for future inquiries. Be it PTI and PAT rallies in Islamabad and registration of FIRs against both party leaders and workers, or, be it Tehreek–e–Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) workers at Faizabad interchange, FIRs were registered against them but, later on, after some successful round of negations, the matter was settled.
The FIRs against the PML-N leadership is a regular part of Pakistan’s political system where these FIRs are registered on political grounds and withdrawn after a successful political settlement between and among the parties concerned. Hence, the former ruling party might not be worried about the FIRs, rather these can serve to gather sympathy.