LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Maqbool Gujjar was escorted out of Lahore for violating a ban placed on his entry here on Saturday.
The Punjab government had barred PTI leaders Ali Amin Gandapur and Gujjar, Azad Kashmir Assembly member, from entering the province over a concern that they might cause unrest during by-elections on July 17 (Sunday).
DIG Operations Sohail Chaudhry told media that the AJK lawmaker was in Lahore despite a ban on him due to the by-polls.
According to the government’s notice, PTI leaders are barred from entering Punjab from July 15 to 18 but Gujjar entered Lahore on Saturday and he was arrested and later escorted out of the city on a government order. Punjab Home Minister Ataullah Tarrar released a video statement and said Gujjar and Gandapur were trying to enter Punjab despite being barred, showing their “nefarious intentions”.
“The PTI leaders trying to enter Punjab have revealed their bad intentions,” said Tarar, adding that it was feared that armed groups from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would enter Punjab.
“Their intention was to spread violence during the by-elections. No one carrying arms will be allowed to enter the province under any circumstances,” he added.
The home minister said it’s Punjab government’s responsibility to maintain law and order situation during the elections. “Punjab Police, Rangers and other law-enforcement agencies will strictly stop those trying to disrupt peace,” he added.
Former Punjab chief minister Usman Buzdar reacted to the ban on Gujjar and Gandapur and said no province could close its borders on the citizens belonging to other regions. He said the Supreme Court should take immediate action against this “violation” of the Constitution.
“The government has turned a blind eye to this whole situation,” added Buzdar.
The former CM said hate against people based on language was growing in the country once again.
Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2022