Sunday Jul 17, 2022
MUZAFFARGARH: Punjab police Sunday arrested PTI leader Shahbaz Gill in Muzaffargarh, PML-N spokesperson and Punjab Home Minister Atta Tarar confirmed.
According to Geo News, Gill has been arrested for allegedly visiting different polling stations during the by-elections in the city with his security guards who were dressed as FC personnel.
As per the election code of conduct for political parties and candidates, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has stated: "Carriage and display of all kinds of lethal weapons and fire arms shall not be allowed in public meetings and processions and official regulations in respect thereof shall be strictly observed. Aerial firing, use of crackers and other explosives at public meetings shall not be allowed."
However, Gill denied the allegations of keeping any security guards dressed up in FC officials' uniforms. He claimed that he had been engaged for three hours and was suddenly arrested without a warrant.
The politician said that he will act according to what his lawyers suggest.
"Strongly condemn illegal arrest of Shahbaz Gill simply to try [and] rig elections [and] spread fear in [people]," PTI Chairman Imran Khan wrote on Twitter, taking notice of the incident.
"These fascist tactics will not work [and] our [people] will not be deterred from exercising their right to vote. Handlers of imported govt should realise the damage they are doing to our nation," he added.
Commenting on the development, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that private security companies recruit retired personnel, adding that directions have been issued to authorities concerned that all such private companies should be banned.
“I have ordered a high-level inquiry in this regard,” he said, addressing a press conference.
PTI candidate Moazzam Jatoi accepted the presence of FC personnel, saying they were present in a factory. However, he said that he would not comment on whether their presence was in line with the law.
Meanwhile, Gill took to his Twitter handle and said he is not 'afraid of getting arrested'.
"Before you reach anyone else, I am presenting myself for arrest," he on Twitter, claiming he was "trapped in a factory". "Imran Khan's soldier is not afraid of such tactics. We did not come to do terrorism."
The political tensions are on the rise in Punjab as the hotly contested by-elections are the key to power in the province. The 20 constituencies will decide who will become the chief minister on July 22 — when the elections for the office take place.