The Punjab government has imposed section 144 across the province just one day ahead of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Azadi March towards Islamabad.
According to the notification issued by Home Department Punjab, there will be ban on all types of gatherings in the province. The Additional Chief Secretary Home department is empowered to impose ban on all public gatherings in the province or in a particular city if he deems it necessary on grounds of threats of terrorism, chaos or law and order.
There will be general ban on gatherings of five or more people besides a ban on carrying arms in public. The ban will be applicable for seven days. However, law enforcement personnel will not fall in these categories.
The decision was taken in light of the ruling party’s meeting pondering upon PTI’s much trumpeted and planned long march towards Islamabad.
The federal interior minister Rana Sanaullah and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders had announced to avoid any type of political chaos in the public.
As the PTI chairman Imran Khan had announced to march towards Islamabad on May 25, the government has been trying to take measures to make PTI’s mega power show ends up a flop.
The Punjab police has already started conducting raids against the PTI leadership in Lahore. A police constable was also gunned down during such raid. Both the PTI and the government have blamed each other for this casualty. PTI leaders say that it was just a reason to impose section 144 in the province.
Former information Minister Fawad Chaudhary has also alleged that Punjab Police raided hundreds of houses belonging to PTI activists last night. He said that it was the political right of every party to hold rallies and long marches. He said that the actions by the Punjab government have angered the PTI workers who wanted to reach Islamabad at every cost.
The Sindh government has already imposed section 144 in the province to avert the PTI workers from moving towards Islamabad.
PTI worker Mohammed Umair said that his party believes in peaceful protests and pledged that, despite all hurdles, the workers would reach Islamabad on the call of Imran Khan. He said that they party would expose all the characters who played their dirty role in the conspiracy in America against Pakistan. He said that all the tactics of present rulers to stop people from participating in the “Freedom March” would backfire against the government.