Lahore [Pakistan]: Former Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-insaaf Chief Imran Khan lashed out at the current state of constitution and democracy after his rally was halted in Lahore and police took action against PTI workers participating in the rally. Section 144 was also imposed in Lahore ahead of the rally to keep the crowd in check.
In a series of tweets, Imran Khan said that the Supreme court’s five-member bench has ordered elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 90 days and asked the President to announce the dates, which was April 30. He tweeted that PTI kicked off an election rally in Lahore with 55 days left. He questioned under what law the Punjab Caretaker govt used police violence against unarmed workers to stop the rally.
He alleged that the only job of caretakers is to ensure fair and free elections. He alleged that the police action was an assault on rule of law, the Constitution and democracy.
He called it contempt of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and defied its order.
“SC 5-mbr bench orders elections in Punjab & KP in 90 days, asking President to announce date which he does – 30 April. With hardly 55 days left, PTI kicks off election rally in Lahore. Under what law, & in brazen contempt of SC, Punjab Caretaker govt uses massive police violence against unarmed workers to stop our planned rally?” he tweeted on Wednesday.
PTI workers were arrested on Wednesday for violating Section 144. Following the ban’s imposition, Dawn reported that scores of PTI workers were taken into police custody on Mall Road for violating Section 144. And all roads leading to PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence had been cordoned off.
Water cannons were used in an effort to dispel PTI workers.
The Punjab Home Department on Wednesday banned “all kinds of protests, demonstrations and sit-ins” in Lahore for seven days, citing the “overall security situation” in the wake of the recent “wave of terrorism and threat alerts”.
A notification issued by the home ministry said the ban was imposed on “holding all kinds of assemblies, gatherings, sit-ins, rallies, processions, demonstrations, […] protests and such like other activities across the district Lahore to avert any untoward incident”.
The prohibition, imposed under Section 144 (temporary orders in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger) of the Code of Criminal Procedure — is to be in effect immediately.
The PTI had announced a rally in Lahore today, while an Aurat March is also set to be taken out.