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EditorialArrest warrant for PML-N leaders

Arrest warrant for PML-N leaders

When the PML-N-led federal government arrested Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Shahbaz Gill in its jurisdiction, and in violent manners, the party should not have expected any nice gesture from the rival PTI-led government in Punjab. The issue of non-bailable arrest warrants for 12 PML-N leaders by a Lahore court on Friday, however, does not look like a revenge act. The court issued warrants for the PML-N leaders, most of them MPAs, for their involvement in hooliganism on the Punjab Assembly premises on April 16, the day when voting for the chief minister was held. Those nominated in the case include prime minister’s special assistant Attaullah Tarar, Rana Mashood Ahmed Khan, Bilal Farooq Tarar, Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Laghari, Saiful Malook Khokhar, Mirza Jawed, Pir Khizer Hayat, Raja Sagheer Ahmed, Abdul Rauf, Pir Ashraf Rasool, Bilal Farooq and Rana Mannan Khan. The lawmakers are accused of attacking their colleagues and vandalizing the assembly property, and their failure to join the police investigation. The April 16 voting had witnessed a shameful display of muscles inside the house when the government called the police inside the house to fix the opposition. Judicial Magistrate Muhammad Mudasir Hayat issued the warrants as the police, earlier in the day, submitted an application before the court, seeking action against the politicians for allegedly attacking lawmakers. Initially, the police action was being taken against the PTI MPAs when the Hamza Shehbaz government ruled the province, but the July 17 elections turned the table on the other side, and now the PML-N is under fire. This is just the beginning of an eye for an eye. In the coming months, both rival sides – the PML-N-led federal government and the PTI governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – would come face to face on several occasions, affecting the quality of the government in both the centre and provinces. The better way to deal with the deadlock is that the nominated leaders turn themselves in to the police and join the investigation. If they are innocent, the courts will do justice to them. The police have raided their residences, and will keep on raiding unless the accused are apprehended. The Punjab police must be praised for following the law, and the Islamabad police must learn a lesson from them. The capital police could have handed the Shahbaz Gill case as per law.

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