SHANGLA: The police arrested Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Shangla district president Liaqat Ali Yousafzai and six others when they were going to attend a party meeting in the hujra of Alpuri tehsil nazim in Shahpur on Tuesday in violation of the Section 144 imposed by the local administration the other day.

Islamzada, a PTI spokesman, told Dawn that they had organised a party meeting in preparations for the coming elections at the hujra of Alpuri tehsil nazim Waqar Ahmad Khan, and party president Liaqat Yousafzai and others were going to attend it when their jeep was stopped by the Karora police officials and they were taken into custody.

He deplored that roads were blocked to arrest the PTI leaders and workers, while Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz organised a public meeting in Chakesar area the same day.

The PTI spokesman said though Shangla deputy commissioner had imposed ban on public gatherings in the district, PML-N president Amir Muqam and other parties were allowed to hold public meetings.

“Holding public meetings is our constitutional and legal right, but the administration is depriving us of this right,” he said.

Islamzada said PTI was not being provided level playing field to run its election campaign. He said though Shangla remained peaceful on May 9 when riots erupted across the country, the local administration had launched a crackdown on the local leadership.

The arrested activists also included Butya-I village council chairman Ikram Shah and PTI joint secretary Mohammad Arif Kormang.

Karora police station SHO M0hammad Afzal did not attend calls for his version on the arrests.

Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2023

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