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Election for CM: Goverment, opposition at daggers drawn to control Punjab

District Intelligence Committee mulls over imposing Section 144 within 500-metre radius of Punjab Assembly

The ruling coalition and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led opposition is at daggers drawn to control the province as the Punjab Assembly witnessed a constitutional and political crisis amid the election of the chief minister on Wednesday.

Both sides claimed their moves according to law as the house went under the control of police, creating a curfew-like situation in and outside the assembly. The house was under the control of Speaker Chaudhary Pervez Elahi, the candidate for the chief minister slot nominated by the ruling coalition in the house of 371, till the filing of this report.

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The District Intelligence Committee held a meeting to discuss the law and order situation and there was a consideration to call in paramilitary forces.

The imposition of Section 144 of CrPC is also under consideration to prohibit the gathering of people within the 500-metre radius of the Punjab Assembly for the next 15 days along with the permission for preventive detention under Section 03 of the Maintenance of Public Order 1960 to avert rioting, unlawful assembly and a clash among the workers of rival political parties.

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The situation became tense after the Punjab Assembly’s doors were shut to Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari, who had earlier called the session for April 6, claiming he had the authority to summon the session when the speaker is in the race for CM office.

The move prompted the PML-Q to forward a no-trust-motion against him in a bid to stop him from chairing the session. In retaliation, the PML-N tried to move a no-trust motion against Chaudhary Pervez Elahi but they were not allowed to enter the assembly.

Afterwards, the speaker stripped Mazari of powers following the submission of the no-trust motion against him, who later chaired a symbolic session at a local hotel in Lahore, claiming his right to hold the session anywhere.

The spokesperson for the Punjab Assembly said that the session would be held on the date [April 16] mentioned in the gazette notification. There was no mention of Wednesday’s session in the official record of the assembly, added the spokesperson.

Journalists were also barred from entering the assembly’s premises.

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