Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) President and Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif has demanded an investigation into the incident in which the PML-N Secretary-General Ahsan Iqbal was allegedly beaten by Rangers officials in Karachi.
In an official statement released by the party, Shehbaz Sharif issued a condemnation of the incident and stated that Rangers in Karachi brutally tortured party leaders and workers including Secretary-General Ahsan Iqbal on the orders of Imran Niazi.
He said that PML-N Secretary-General Ahsan Iqbal and the peaceful workers of the party were subjected to battery, violence and abuse.
Moreover, the PML-N President demanded that a high-level investigation of the incident should be carried out, and those responsible should be identified and punished according to the law. He said that violence against political and democratic activists was unacceptable.
Earlier in the day, PML-N Secretary General and former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal said that his party’s workers were “tortured” by security personnel and subjected to “state-sponsored violence” in Karachi.
Iqbal had arrived in Karachi to perform a ‘symbolic inauguration’ of the Green Line Bus Rapid Transit project along with other PML-N leaders including former Sindh Governor Zubair Umar and former finance minister Miftah Ismail.
The leaders reached the site for the symbolic inaugural just a day before Prime Minister Imran Khan was expected to formally inaugurate the project.
The situation worsened when the PML-N leaders were stopped from moving forward by the security officials present there.
Videos of the incident went viral on social media, in which Rangers officials were seen stopping the PML-N leaders by force.
Later, according to Ahsan Iqbal, he was hit on his arms with sticks. He said that the ‘security institution’ tortured the unarmed political workers including himself.
Without naming the institution, he alleged that the incumbent government had been using the law enforcement agency for political purposes the same way it had been using the police.
Ahsan Iqbal further criticized the government for the use of force against unarmed political workers, and said that the government was helpless when dealing with terrorists.
Speaking about the Green Line project, Iqbal said that it was launched by the PML-N government in 2016 and its foundation was laid by the then prime minister, Nawaz Sharif.
He added that the project was supposed to be completed in 2018, alleging that its execution was delayed because it was initiated by his party.