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RAWALPINDI: The Election Commission of Pakistan and the chief justice should take notice of the “unjustified” action against PML-N workers and supporters by the police, the party’s metropolitan president Sardar Naseem said on Tuesday.

He said this was a tactic to stop the party from electioneering.

Three separate FIRs were registered at three stations across the city against 16 party leaders and hundreds of workers after the rally of retired Capt Mohammad Safdar on Sunday. The cases were for various offences ranging from violations of section 144, conducting an illegal rally, creating a law and order situation and obstructing public movement.

Local leaders, election candidates and hundreds of the party workers were booked for helping a convict bring out a rally, inciting people and blocking Murree Road.

Senator Chaudhry Tanveer, Daniyal Chaudhry, Malik Shakil Awan, Malik Abrar, Hanif Abbasi, and Raja Hanif got pre-arrest bails and the City, New Town and Waris Khan police conducted raids in the houses of other prominent leaders and workers of the PML-N.

‘ECP, CJP should take notice of unjustified action against PML-N workers’

“A hundred unknown people were booked in the FIRs and the police started picking up prominent PML-N leaders from their houses. Former MPA Raja Hanif’s brother Raja Shafique, RCB councillor Mohammad Shafique and chairmen and vice chairmen of union councils were illegally picked up by the police when their names were not in the FIRs,” Sardar Naseem told Dawn.

He said the police tried to intimidate PML-N workers and supporters but they will continue to campaign for the elections.

“The party’s workers did not stop supporting Nawaz Sharif during the Musharraf tenure and are not afraid now either,” he said.

“It is unjustified that the police are taking action against the workers and leaders who have not even been identified in the cases. The chief justice should take notice of this as the party is being stopped from electioneering [due to these tactics],” he added.

Mr Naseem said the election commission should make sure that all political parties have a level playing field and that hurdles are being apparently made in the election campaign of the PML-N.

The police continued raids in various parts of the city and made several arrests in connection with the cases registered on Sunday.

According to police sources, raids were conducted at the election office of Senator Chaudhry Tanveer Khan and his son Daniyal Tanveer in Jhanda Chichi and picked up several political workers. Police raids continued in different parts of the city and its outskirts to arrest the party’s local leaders who had been nominated in the FIRs.

The brother of former MPA Raja Hanif, Raja Shafiq was arrested from Waris Khan and moved to an undisclosed location.

The police also went to the house of former MNA Malik Shakeel but he was not home. After raiding his house, the police also raided his hotel on Murree Road but did not find him.

The houses of other local leaders including former MNA Hanif Abbasi, Malik Ibrar and Maqbool Khan were also raided.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2018