Saturday, July 16, 2022
LAHORE: PTI leader and Azad Kashmir Assembly member Maqbool Gujjar, who escaped police custody a while back, has been removed from the limits of Punjab’s capital, police said Saturday.
Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) Operations Sohail Chaudhry told journalists that the AJK lawmaker was in Lahore despite a ban being imposed on him due to the by-polls — slated for July 17 (tomorrow).
The Punjab government had barred PTI leaders Ali Amin Gandapur and Gujjar from entering the province on a concern that they might cause unrest during by-elections on July 17 (Sunday).
According to the government’s notice, PTI leaders are barred from entering Punjab from July 15 to July 18.
But despite this, Gujjar entered Lahore, however, was arrested and made to sign a government order.
Gujjar and SHO Atif also got into a spat, while police tried to arrest the minister.
"I am an Azad Kashmir minister, and I will not back down," Gujjar told SHO Atif.
The SHO instructed Gujjar to come with the police to the police station and stated that "we will discuss the rest there".
The sources said that the minister escaped police custody by sitting in a car and driving away from the scene.
PML-N leader Ataullah Tarar said that Gujjar and Gandapur trying to enter Punjab despite legally being barred shows their “nefarious intentions”.
"The PTI leaders trying to enter Punjab have revealed their bad intentions," said Tarar, adding that it was feared that armed groups from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would enter Punjab.
"Their intention was to spread violence during the by-elections. No one carrying arms will be allowed to enter the province under any circumstances," he added.
The PML-N leader said that it is the Punjab government's responsibility to maintain the law and order situation during the elections. "Punjab Police, Rangers, and law enforcement agencies will strictly stop those trying to disrupt peace," he added.
Former Punjab chief minister Usman Buzdar reacted to the ban on PTI's Gujjar and Gandapur, saying that "no province can close its borders on the citizens belonging to different regions".
He said that the Supreme Court should take immediate action against this "violation" of the Constitution.
"The government has turned a blind eye to this whole situation," added Buzdar.
"Hate against people based on language is growing in the country once again," said the ex-CM Punjab.