Police given free hand to deal with PTI workers: CM Naqvi

Says no security will be provided to election rally


LAHORE     -    Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi Monday maintained that the writ of the state and the government will be established at all costs, and whosoever tried to challenged it he will be dealt with iron hand. 

“If anyone raises a hand against the police, that hand would be bro­ken”, he said while ad­dressing a hard-hitting press conference here. 

The chief minister’s presser aimed at giving a severe warning to the PTI workers who had been taking the law into their hands in the past one week. Mohsin Naqvi told reporters that police had been given a free hand to maintain the law-and-order situation and the IG had been given com­plete authority to make decisions after review­ing the situation. 

"I stand by the state, the government, and the police. If anyone engages in any activity against the police, they will receive a response that will make them re­member it. Enough is enough; the state will enforce its order”, he asserted. 

Mohsin Naqvi also announced the forma­tion of a joint investiga­tion team to probe acts of terrorism against the Punjab police. The JIT’s forma­tion was later notified on Mon­day afternoon. “We are writing a letter to the Election Commis­sion and sending details of be­yond political activities that have taken place in the past few days.”, he averred. 

At the outset, Mohsin Naqvi said he wanted to explain the facts regarding the incidents that took place at Zaman Park to media men. “I want to inform you that the police and rang­ers had arrived at the Zaman Park gate twice, but we were in­formed about the presence of weapons, so I sent both forces back. We do not want to disturb the situation, nor do we want any loss of life”, he explained. 

He regretted that a policeman was beaten up while leaving work at night.

“I had been consoling the po­licemen for many days, exhort­ing them to be patient to avoid casualties. Elite’s vehicle was stopped at 1:30 am, weapons were taken away, and the van was broken and thrown into the canal. There are fences on the sides of the canal, it is not an easy task to throw the van into the canal, it cannot be done by ordinary people. Some people are involved in terrorism there, and their pictures have been collected. People from outside Punjab are involved in these ac­tivities,” the chief minister elab­orated on the incident. 

Mohsin Naqvi further stated that political parties do not en­gage in such actions, nor is van­dalism a political activity. “Or­dinary political workers do not carry out such attacks. How long will the police endure, do their duty, be abused and even beaten? Imran Khan threatened the police even yesterday, and the IG and CCPO were named. The police cannot be allowed to threaten openly”, he said. 

Speaking in the context of providing security to the PTI’s upcoming rally in Lahore, the chief minister said: “If you do not trust the police, then send the security back. It is not pos­sible to be abused and provide security. Security is not pos­sible by beating the police ev­ery day. If you abuse the police and they protect you, it will not happen. They said that we have messages and search warrants, but they did not respond to any­thing. The police did not enter the residence”. 

Mohsin Naqvi said that po­lice are not ready to pick up the dead bodies of their colleagues, and we do not want the situ­ation to worsen. “The govern­ment and the police showed ex­treme restraint, no policeman was allowed to carry weapons in Zaman Park. There were gun­men who opened fire. We also made backdoor contacts to com­ply with the court orders but they are not ready to give an an­swer”. He clarified that the gov­ernment was not following the narrative of any political party. “I have told the police to do what has to be done. I have seen a lot, now miscreants will realise that the government is there and the state too. There is a traffic jam in certain areas and people are suffering from problems and dif­ficulties. Enough has been toler­ated and if they do this again, the government will take retaliatory action”, he added. 

In response to a question, Mohsin Naqvi said: “We are ready to give a level-playing field, but the next person is not ready”. The chief minister an­nounced financial aid worth one lakh and five lakh each for slightly and critically injured policemen and declared that the government was standing with the police.

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