RAWALPINDI: The government will not stop Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) from holding public meetings in Islamabad, if they remain non-violent, said Punjab home minister Shuja Khanzada on Wednesday.

The minister was talking to newsmen at a passing out parade at Police College, Sihala. He said the government’s policy is peaceful and it will not stop any political party from staging peaceful protests.

He said the government’s policy is democratic and clear as it had facilitated PTI in holding meetings wherever they wanted in Punjab and provided full security protocol.

“No road will be blocked with shipping containers in Punjab, but one thing is clear that political workers must remain peaceful,” the home secretary said.

Replying to a question regarding the presence of Islamic State (IS) in the country, he said that there is no presence of IS in any part of the province and said: “Some splinter groups are using the name of Islamic State for their own purposes.”

“Investigation into the Wagha suicide bombing has also been completed and we know it was splinter group of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who had been involved in the attack although it is yet to be finalised,” he said.

The two groups that have claimed responsibility for the Wagha attack include Jundallah and Jamaat-al-Ahrar which is a splinter group of TTP.

He also said that due to meaningful talks between Pakistan and Afghanistan, it is hoped that terrorism in both countries can be eliminated.

Earlier, a special demonstration for controlling and dispersing unlawful assembly of people was also held on this occasion by trainee police officers.

They demonstrated how a mob can be controlled using different tactics including lathi charge, intercepting protestors, using tear gas and firing in the air.

Punjab home minister Shuja Khanzada speaking as the chief guest said improvement in Police system through reforms and meaningful measures is among the top priorities of the government.

He added that police officers should discharge their duties following principles of unity, faith and discipline as advised by the founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. After completing their training, police officers should be friendly and deal with the citizens with respect, he said.

Punjab home minister said that Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif is keen to organise police as per requirements of modern times.

“The government has decided to recruit all police officers and officials purely on merit and a batch of 500 under trainee sub inspectors has been selected and recruited through the Public Service commission. Another batch of more than 500 sub inspectors will also be recruited in near future,” he said.

He said the development of countries and nations is directly linked with law and order and where this is not ensured no investment and development can take place.

Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2014

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