Amid PTI’s protest call, Punjab imposes Section 144 for 7 days

  • Omar Ayub asks NA Deputy Speaker to rule the ban is a constitutional violation
  • PTI spokesperson describes it as ‘shameful act on part of form 47 criminal government’

LAHORE: Ahead of the PTI’s planned nationwide protests, the Punjab government on Friday imposed Section 144 in view of the “prevailing law and order situation”, banning all kind of protests and public gatherings across the province.

The imposition of Section 144 in Punjab coincides with the PTI’s plans to carry out nationwide protests on Friday to press the demand for the release of incarcerated leader Imran Khan.

According to an order issued by the Home Department, Section 144 has been imposed with immediate effect and will remain in effect for seven days. The Punjab Police say that Section 144 empowers authorities to issue orders in the public interest that may place a ban on an activity for a specific period.

The order states: “It has been observed that given the prevailing law and order situation and security threats, any gathering/ assembly is likely to provide soft targets to terrorists and miscreants, which not only pose serious security threats but is also likely to cause threat to public at peace and order as well as inconvenience to public at large.”

Although the notification fell short of mentioning a specific reason for the imposition of Section 144, Home Secretary Noorul Amin Mengal wrote in the order that “pressing and adequate grounds exist for proceeding under Section 144 as an immediate prevention and speedy remedy to ban forthwith certain activities in Punjab”.

Assemblies, gatherings, sit-ins, rallies, processions, demonstrations, jalsas, dharnas, protests and other such activities have been prohibited effective immediately, the order stated.

According to one post on social media platform X, “multiple illegal police raids” were conducted on the houses of PTI leaders in Khanewal. The party also claimed that the office of PTI leader PP-209 Khanewal Humayun Khan was raided and ransacked by the police.

Speaking in the National Assembly, Leader of the Opposition Omar Ayub condemned the imposition of Section 144 and asked NA Deputy Speaker Ghulam Mustafa Shah to rule that the ban was a constitutional violation.

Condemning the ban, PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan described it as “a shameful act on the part of the entire form 47 criminal government”.

Posting on X, he claimed that imposing Section 144 demonstrated how “mortified” the government was of Imran, adding that it would only spur the drive of the party founder’s followers. “Imran Khan will triumph. People will triumph. Pakistan will triumph. Nothing can stop their momentum to realise their dream,” Hasan added.


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