LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has demanded the formation of a judicial commission to investigate the April 16 mayhem in the Punjab Assembly being used by the provincial government as an excuse to arrest its leaders.

At a press conference here on Sunday, PML-N chief whip Khalil Tahir Sindhu said the commission was needed to probe the clash during the Punjab Assembly proceedings (on April 16) and penalise those MPAs who tortured the deputy speaker conducting election to the office of chief minister under a Lahore High Court order.

A video footage of the assembly proceedings was also screened on the occasion in which ruling PTI parliamentarians could be seen attacking Dost Mohammad Mazari and dragging him by hair.

Mr Sindhu alleged that then speaker Parvez Elahi planned and instructed the ruling coalition’s members to assault the deputy speaker and clash with the police, which came to rescue Mr Mazari on the latter’s request as the assembly’s own security looked the other way under the pressure of the speaker.

He alleged that “wanted criminals from Gujrat”, hometown of Mr Elahi, were seated in the Visitors’ Gallery though there was a ban on allowing entry to any outsider to the assembly’s galleries on that day, and that these goons thrashed the police and PML-N lawmakers.

He said Mr Elahi had planned to get ink thrown at the Punjab chief secretary and inspector-general of police by insisting on summoning the two officers to the assembly chamber on the excuse that they should tender apologies to the MPAs for trespassing the assembly.

He alleged that as chief minister Mr Elahi was being used by PTI chairman Imran Khan to hound and harass the PML-N leaders and feared that he (Sindhu) could be implicated in a ‘false’ case and detained within a couple of days. He regretted that the incumbent IGP had withdrawn security of the Model Town secretariat of the PML-N.

Mr Sindhu chided the PTI chairman for what he said humiliating and threatening a judge and police in his Islamabad speech on Saturday.

He said though his party had reservations about the Supreme Court chief justice, it hoped that the CJP would take a suo motu action against Mr Khan for the sake of protecting the institution of judiciary. “Save the judiciary otherwise the judges will stop working (in the wake of threats by the PTI).”

The PML-N leader also criticised Imran Khan for the latter’s statement on Salman Rushdie and urged him to sue the foreign paper which, as per the former prime minister’s claim, quoted him out of contest on the issue.

Mr Sindhu alleged that foreign companies had provided funds to Imran Khan under a conspiracy to bleed the national economy and lead it to default like Sri Lanka.

He said the PTI chairman could be sentenced for over 300 years if tried in a foreign country for illegal funding. He told a questioner that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif would return by October and would lead the party’s election campaign.

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2022

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