Police given 'free hand' to establish writ of state, says Punjab CM Naqvi

Police given 'free hand' to establish writ of state, says Punjab CM Naqvi

Lahore (Web Desk): Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi on Monday said that the government has now given 'free hand' to police force to establish writ of state at all cost if it is attacked again.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore, he said the writ of government will be enforced at any cost.

The CM announced the formation of a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the torture of police personnel allegedly at the hands of PTI workers in Lahore over the last week.

Naqvi said he was, earlier asking the law enforcement agencies to hold back but would no longer do so.

He also cautioned that any future manhandling of law enforcers will result in an equivalent response.

“Right now it is really important to establish the writ of the state and writ of the government,” said the interim CM.

He added that the police and Rangers had “reached the gate of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan's house but were called back twice because the government did not want any bloodshed”.

Naqvi also stated that an elite force vehicle was stopped and thrown into the canal.

“If a police vehicle is thrown into the canal, then the writ of the state does not exist, but now the writ of government will be established and the hands moving towards the police will be broken,” he warned.

The caretaker CM said that the inspector general (IG) has been given full authority to take appropriate steps, adding that the tenure of Rangers has also been extended.

Naqvi said that whatever happened during the Zaman Park operation was not done by political workers, adding that “everyone knows who they were”.

While showing a video of the “torture of the police by PTI workers”, Naqvi said that it is not possible for the police to work and take a beating at the same time.

"Political activity is everyone's right, but this attitude is intolerable," the caretaker CM said.

Naqvi also said that the former prime minister is threatening the police, adding that if he does not trust the police, then he let go of the security provided by the Punjab police.

The caretaker CM also announced a compensation package for the injured policemen. He said that the caretaker government has decided to give Rs0.1 million to lightly injured policemen and Rs0.5 million to those who suffered severe injuries.

On March 18, the Punjab police on Saturday launched operation at Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former premier Imran Khan's Zaman Park residence after he left to appear before a local court in Islamabad in the Toshakhana case.

Television footage showed police entering the house after bulldozing the main gate and taking a number of PTI workers into their custody.

The law enforcers also claimed that in retaliation to their operation, they faced straight firing and petrol bombs from inside Imran Khan's residence.

A heavy contingent of the police was deployed in the area after an agreement was reached between the administration and the PTI on Friday regarding the search in Zaman Park.

As per the police, an anti-terror court granted permission to conduct the search inside Imran Khan's residence.

According to police, material used to produce Molotov cocktails was recovered during the search operation.