MULTAN -  The law enforcement agencies are likely to launch a big crackdown on the night between Friday and Saturday to arrest dozens of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers with a view to preventing them from joining Islamabad agitation, sources disclosed.

The security agencies are learnt to have formed two separate lists of to-be arrested workers of PTI and PAT and sources claimed that the PTI list contained 141 names of active workers while the PAT 38. “The lists have been prepared and the police are waiting for a final go from the high ups. As soon as the orders are received, a big crackdown will be launched to arrest all of them,” sources added. 

Meanwhile, a few dozen PTI workers gathered at Nawan Shehr Chowk under the leadership of Ejaz Janjua, Waseem Khan, Nadeem Qureshi and other local leaders to protest police highhandedness against their comrades in Islamabad. Holding placards and banners, they shouted full-throated slogans against police, Punjab and federal government. The protesters staged a sit in and blocked the chowk as a result of which traffic coming to Nawan Shehr from all sides got choked.

Addressing the protesters, the PTI leaders said that all the members of government had converted into Gullu Butt to block peaceful democratic protest of PTI. They added that police launched a cruel action against PTI workers across South Punjab and dozens of workers had been arrested while the houses of many others raided. They warned the government that police highhandedness against PTI workers would give birth to a big national movement which would throw the rulers out of Islamabad. They declared that the PTI workers would join Islamabad lockdown at any cost and oust the rulers from the capital.

Heavy police contingents were deployed at the spot. Baton police with anti-riot gear looked fully prepared to start on the protesters but they dispersed quickly. Sources said that the police contingents deployed at Nawan Shehr Chowk had lists of to-be-arrested PTI workers but the action did not start as the troops did not receive arrest orders from the high ups.

Meanwhile, talking to the media, PAT South Punjab president Ch Fayyaz Ahmad Warraich declared that the PAT Chief Allama Tahir ul Qadri would lead the protesters if the government continued its oppressive tactics against peaceful PAT workers. He alleged that that police harassed PAT workers in Multan and other towns of South Punjab. He warned that the government would be responsible for the consequences if police did any harm to the PAT workers. He said that the rulers tried to block peaceful protest in Rawalpindi and Islamabad which reflected rulers’ fear. He declared that the PAT stood with PTI and its workers would extend moral and political support to the PTI workers.