The Punjab Police has resumed a massive crackdown on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers across the province.
Police claimed that raids were being conducted to arrest suspects wanted in criminal cases registered against PTI workers for attacking military installations and government buildings on May 9.
Some sources claim that the Punjab police’s top brass has ordered the arrest of PTI workers in the wake of pti senior vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s statement urging party workers to take out rallies and celebrate Independence Day.
He said government officials fear that PTI workers will hoist party flags instead of national flags on rooftops and the move could bring a bad name to the country.
Reports are doing the rounds that senior officials of Punjab Police have issued instructions to district and regional police officers to launch a crackdown and ensure that there is no violation or disturbance in the law and order situation by PTI workers ahead of Independence Day.
They have also been directed to stop PTI workers from holding rallies or demonstrations across Punjab before August 14 or on the same day.
Senior officials of The Lahore Police have been directed to establish a writ of law on the streets of the city before August 14 and prevent untoward incidents.
A list of around 400 PTI workers and leaders has been sent to Punjab police officers with instructions to launch a crackdown to arrest them, an official said.
Several reports have started coming out from different parts of Punjab that police teams are raiding residences, party offices and other places to arrest PTI workers and leaders.
Some news channels reported that more than 1,000 PTI workers and leaders have been identified who will be arrested in the latest crackdown, according to a local news channel.
After the instructions were issued in this regard, special teams of the police have reportedly raided about 100 such places in different districts of Punjab which were identified to arrest PTI workers.
A police team in Lahore allegedly raided the house of PTI leader Musarrat Cheema, who claimed that the police harassed her employees.
IG Punjab Police Dr Usman Anwar said the police were targeting only those ‘criminals’ who are wanted in the May 9 attack cases.
“No PTI worker is being arrested in view of Independence Day, we are only looking for those who are involved in criminal cases,” he said.