Tuesday, May 24, 2022
LAHORE: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah blamed PTI Chairman Imran Khan for the death of a police constable last night during a police raid as part of a crackdown against PTI leaders ahead of the party's Azadi March. Sanaullah said the cop's death is “proof that Imran Khan is a terrorist”.
During a raid of a PTI leader's house in Lahore's Model Town, police constable Kamal Ahmed was shot in the chest and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.
DIG Operations Lahore Captain (Retd) Muhammad Sohail Chaudhry said: "The suspect fired the bullet from the rooftop of a house...we are still investigating but we will not spare those involved [in the crime]."
“Kamal Ahmed's killers are Imran Khan, Sheikh Rashid and his followers,” the interior minister said.
The interior minister accused PTI leaders of conspiring toward a "bloody march" and inciting civil war, claiming that the ousted government would be held accountable for their “crimes”.
"The firing at the police has proved that this is not a political activity, it is proof that they do not want a peaceful march," Sanaullah said.
The minister vehemently stated that the constable's killers would be brought to justice. "We will prevent civil war, chaos and disorder in the country through the law," he said, claiming that the "abusers" had taken the law into their hands.
Extending his condolences to the family of the deceased constable, he announced that the government would give them a shuhada package and take complete responsibility for his family members, including the educational responsibilities for his children.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb advised the media to not show political activities and boycott all violent and terrorism-related content.
She accused the PTI leaders of crossing the “red line” by opening fire on a police officer. Aurangzeb added that in order to protect the people and economy of Pakistan it is now time to redraw a “red line”.
The information minister said that political stability is key to the success of the war to save economic sovereignty. “No compromise will be made over the economy and security of the people,” she added.
Punjab Police late Monday raided the houses of several PTI leaders, including former energy minister Hammad Azhar, Usman Dar, and Babar Awan, while a police constable was also shot dead during a raid in Lahore.
The development came hours after PTI's Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry, in a press conference, warned the government against using force to stop the "Azadi March", set to begin on May 25.
The former information minister told the government that it could arrest PTI leaders and workers if it wanted to, but it would not be in its favour.
Party sources had said that around 73 workers were arrested initially.
Meanwhile, despite Fawad's warning of using force against the PTI ahead of the long march, police raided the houses of PTI leaders across Punjab and Islamabad.