Naqvi warns of stern response to future PTI ‘attacks’ on police

— Interim government constitutes JIT to probe violent clashes between police and supporters of Imran Khan

LAHORE: The caretaker government of Mohsin Naqvi in Punjab has formed a joint investigation team (JIT) to investigate the alleged torture of police personnel at the hands of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) supporters in Lahore over the past week.

Announcing the decision in a press conference on Monday, the interim chief minister also warned the opposition party of former prime minister Imran Khan that any “future mistreatment” of law enforcement officials would be met with an “equivalent response.”

Intermittent clashes between Khan’s supporters and Punjab police and paramilitary Rangers personnel have erupted over the past few weeks.

The clashes began when Islamabad police attempted to arrest Khan at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore in connection with the Toshakhana case. PTI supporters resisted the arrest, resulting in several injuries among the police personnel.

Another clash erupted on Saturday when law enforcement agencies raided Khan’s house in his absence. PTI workers reportedly clashed with police while trying to stop them from entering the house.

Naqvi expressed concern over the “mistreatment” of law enforcement officials and warned that the police will now respond to any mistreatment similarly. He also noted that the police had been unable to implement court orders due to their inability to enter the house.

Naqvi also criticised Khan’s “behaviour” and threatened to withdraw the security the government provided if he continues to verbally abuse police personnel. He declared that the police could not protect someone who mistreated them and expected the same force to safeguard them.

He further said he had given full powers to the provincial police chief, Usman Anwar, to do what he deemed appropriate, and that no political party had reacted as aggressively as PTI during its protest.

Naqvi also assured the police that legal action would be taken wherever necessary and warned that anyone resorting to violence would face a stern response. He announced that the caretaker government would write a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) regarding the matter.

Additionally, Naqvi announced compensation for injured police personnel, with Rs100,000 for minor injuries and Rs500,000 for major injuries.


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