ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has demanded of the government to expand the paramilitary force Rangers’ operation to Lahore and Islamabad to curb “targeted killings” of political workers.

“Targeted killings of political workers have increased at an alarming pace and Punjab police has been reduced to being a militant wing of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz,” Imran said in a statement issued by his party on Sunday.

He said how targeted killings were on the rise in Islamabad and that the Rangers' operation needed to be spread in the federal capital as well.

The PTI supremo condemned the recent killing of his party worker Mirza Tanvir in Lahore. Tanvir was killed while he was returning from a hearing in the murder case of two PTI workers, who were killed last year during local government elections.

Imran Khan said Tanvir was the complainant in the double murder case and that he had been facing death threats.

“Where the politics of Sharifs is defeated, simply they use their Gulloo force – which is what the Punjab police has been reduced to – to intimidate and even kill their opponents,” the PTI chief maintained.

He alleged that the police was fully aware of the threats being meted out to Tanvir but it “failed to provide any protection” or to move against those issuing the threats.

“Destruction of the Punjab police’s professionalism by the Sharifs has sent a clear message to murderers that crime pays because they can get away with it,” he said, adding that the police shows its complicity in such cases of targeted killings.

The PTI chief reiterated his demand that the Rangers be called into Lahore immediately to act against target killers and militant outfits. “Punjab government is either unable to move or is unwilling to act and Punjab police has lost all credibility,” he said.

Imran also accused the Islamabad police of being complicit in similar targeted killings in the capital and cited the case of a young lawyer, Fahad Malik, who he said was “brutally attacked and killed”.

“Criminals carrying out such killings right in front of a police station is shocking,” he said.

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