LAHORE, Sept 3: The opposition in the Punjab Assembly has alleged the Sharifs have decided to tighten the noose around their political opponents and directions have been given to the provincial administration and the police for registering “false” cases against PPP and PML-Q leaders.

At a joint press conference at the Assembly Secretariat here on Monday, opposition leader Raja Riaz and Shaukat Basra said a ‘victimisation campaign’ had been started by first targeting deputy opposition leader (Mr Basra) in the provincial house.

A land grab case has recently been got registered by Haroonabad TMA against Mr Shaukat Basra and his brother.

PML-Q leader Chaudhry Zaheer has also condemned the alleged victimisation of Mr Basra, saying as elections were nearing the provincial rulers, feeling “frustrated because of not finding suitable candidates”, had resorted to such tactics.

Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, however, claims the opposition is making an issue out of nothing as the case against Basra is ‘lawful’.

Raja Riaz said Haroonabad (Bahawalnagar district) police registered a ‘fake’ case against the PPP MPA as no prior notice (by Haroonabad TMA) had been served on Basra.

He said on the one hand the Sharifs were attempting to suppress the opposition through police while on the other efforts were being made to pressurise the media.

Mr Riaz said if the PML-N did not stop propaganda against ‘impartial’ journalists, the PPP too could unveil a list of columnists who were ‘courtiers’ of the Sharifs.

When newsmen asked the opposition leader to name the black sheep among the journalists instead of maligning the whole community through vague allegations, Raja abruptly ended the press conference saying first Chaudhry Nisar should name the anchors whose loyalties had allegedly been bought by President Asif Zardari. — Staff Reporter

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