ANTICIPATED VIOLENCE DURING BY-ELECTIONS

LAHORE   -   Acting on the report of the Elec­tion Commission of Pakistan, the Punjab government has banned the entry of former federal min­ister Ali Amin Gundapur and Maqbool Gujjar in Punjab for a period of four days.

A notification issued by provin­cial home department said that the Election Commission has ex­pressed concern that the Ali Amin and Maqbool Gujjar may visit the provincial constituencies where by-elections are being held with the intention of pressuring polling staff, scuffling, and inciting people to violence at polling stations in Lahore and other constituencies, leading to a disruption in the poll­ing process, disturbance of public peace and tranquility.

The entry of the two politicians from KPK has been banned under different clauses of the Mainte­nance of Public Ordinance, 1960. This order shall remain in force with effect from July 15 to July 18, said the notification. The two persons may, however, make a representation to the Punjab gov­ernment in this regard as per law.

Earlier, Minister-in-Charge Home department Attaullah Tarar chaired a meeting regarding law and order and security situation during the by-election. Address­ing the meeting, the Home Minis­ter said that the government has already enforced section 144 to ban the possession and display of arms. No one will be allowed to keep weapons during the elec­tion, he said, adding that dur­ing the arms-free campaign, the police recovered a huge cache of arms from different persons.

The minister alleged that the PTI wass inciting people to riot after seeing a certain defeat. He also told the meeting that in order to ensure law and order situation, the entry of Ali Amin Gandapur and Maqbool Gujjar haa been banned in Punjab. Tarar said that the provincial home de­partment has taken this action after receiving a letter from the the Election Commission that Ali Amin Gandapur and Maqbool Gu­jjar wanted to carry out violent activities in Punjab. He said the provincial government would ensure peaceful and transparent elections in the 20 constituen­cies. The law will deal with the elements spreading unrest with iron hands, he warned, adding that the armed groups of the PTI will fail in their conspiracy.