KARACHI - In what is being described by the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf as an act of political victimisation being carried out by the Sindh government of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) against its workers, the Karachi police rounded up “over a dozen identified suspects” in different parts of the city.

The arrests were made as part of investigations into the May 25 violence and arson attack around the Quaid’s mausoleum during a PTI protest.

The party accused the PPP of targeting its workers, leaders and candidates for the upcoming local government polls amid electioneering across Sindh.

The PTI leadership woke up to the reports of midnight and pre-dawn raids on houses of its workers in different parts of Karachi, including residences of the Sindh Assembly members. City police chief confirms action; PTI accuses PPP of political victimisation before LG polls

Strong reaction over social media gained momentum when the PTI MPAs and district level leaders shared videos and images of the midnight police raids on their houses. Many activists escaped arrests, but not all of them were lucky enough to dodge the law-enforcement agency.

In the evening, PTI Sindh chapter president Ali Zaidi called a press conference and shared details of the “vendetta campaign” launched by the PPP government across Sindh “using” police as its party wing against opponents.

He claimed that after harassing its candidates, workers and supporters, the PPP government had turned to Karachi and the nightlong operation against the PTI workers across the city was just a reflection of a new strategy of the provincial government.

“Over a dozen PTI workers, district level leaders and those who are our candidates in the upcoming local bodies’ polls have been arrested during the fresh raids,” he said while talking to reporters at the party office called Insaf House. “We don’t know about their whereabouts. Their families are worried. Is this the democracy they talk about? Our workers are being targeted in false cases only to keep them away from local bodies’ elections. The PPP knows it well that they can’t claim any major victory as long as the PTI is their opponent.”

The PTI general secretary in Sindh, Mobin Jatoi, shared details of the arrests and how the police in rural parts of the province were ‘harassing’ party workers and ‘forcing’ the candidates to withdraw from the local bodies’ elections. He showed videos clips of PTI candidates in Sukkur, Ranipur and Nawabshah sharing their ordeal as to how they were “forced to sign withdrawal” by the local PPP leadership with the police support.

“Those who resist are facing the consequences,” he said. “The police are arresting them and their family members for unknown reasons. They have been taken away and no one knows about their whereabouts. Only today [Tuesday] our two candidates in Sukkur were picked up by police.”

Meanwhile, the Karachi police chief confirmed the action by the law enforcement agency and shared a reason behind the fresh move. He denied any ‘deliberate attempt’ from the police to target a certain party or their workers calling the raids and arrests by the law enforcement agency “as part of the investigation process”.

“The police have evidence and CCTV footage under which we have identified the suspects who were involved in the violence and setting a police [prison] van on fire,” said Additional IG Karachi Ghulam Nabi Memon. “The police have only moved to pursue investigation into these cases of violence. The police are only looking for those who have already been identified through all technological process and evidence.”

 

| Ali Zaidi accuses PPP of political victimisation before LG polls