PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa police department on Tuesday restrained its personnel from taking part in PTI’s long march towards Islamabad, according to a letter issued by the department.

The PTI — which is in power in KP — started its ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’ march towards Islamabad on Friday.

The letter, addressed to all regional police officers, cautioned them to “not violate the territorial jurisdiction” and “legal mandate”.

“All police officers/officials while performing their official duties under their respective jurisdiction, shall not violate the territorial jurisdiction and legal mandate as they have been assigned as per KP Police Act 2017,” it stated.

The directions have been issued following the interior ministry’s Oct 26 letter, which stated that government employees should not be allowed to join any protest.

It added that such protests should be carried out as per the Constitution and in line with the various judgments of the Supreme Court.

“It is equally important that no government employee is allowed to join any such protest,” the ministry’s communique said.

The personnel of KP police accompanying PTI lawmakers from the province have clashed with the Islamabad police in the past.

Earlier last month, Islamabad po­­lice booked Saleh Muhammad Khan Swati, a PTI lawmaker from Manseh­­ra, and his two gunmen, belonging to the KP police, on terrorism charges for allegedly shooting at the police party deployed outside the Election Commis­sion of Pakistan’s office.

The incident occurred on the day when the commission disqualified PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the Toshakhana reference.

Published in Dawn, November 2nd, 2022

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