March 27, 2023

Protests and rallies had been prohibited in Lahore for seven days, hours earlier than the ex-PM was scheduled to deal with an election rally.

A province in Pakistan has banned public gathering of greater than 4 individuals in Lahore for seven days, hours earlier than former Prime Minister Imran Khan was scheduled to deal with an election rally within the japanese metropolis.

The federal government in Punjab – Pakistan’s most populous province – on Wednesday mentioned the ban was imposed on “holding all types of assemblies, gatherings, sit-ins, rallies, processions, demonstrations, […] protests and such like different actions throughout the district Lahore to avert any untoward incident”, based on native media studies.

The restrictions got here hours earlier than Khan’s Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI) get together was scheduled to carry a rally within the metropolis to kick off its marketing campaign for the Punjab provincial meeting election.

Lahore is the provincial capital of Punjab, the place polls – due on April 30 – had been introduced after the dissolution of the provincial meeting. Khan’s PTI had known as for the dissolution in a bid to power early nationwide elections in Pakistan.

The ban on protests and rallies in Lahore additionally got here forward of an “Aurat March” (Girls’s March) to mark Worldwide Girls’s Day.

“Below what legislation” is Punjab’s caretaker authorities utilizing “huge police violence towards unarmed employees to cease our deliberate rally”, Khan requested in a tweet, calling the federal government order the “legislation of the jungle”.

“The one job of caretakers is to make sure truthful and free elections. What they’re doing is an assault on rule of legislation, our structure and democracy.

Reporting from Lahore, Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder mentioned many PTI supporters have been arrested in Lahore for violating the ban on public gatherings. He mentioned the police additionally fired water cannons at Khan’s supporters.

“They’ve imposed Part 144 which suggests greater than 4 individuals can not collect at one place on the identical time,” he mentioned, referring to the colonial-era legislation. “We had been capable of see police vans taking away dozens of supporters who had been chanting in favor of their get together chief.”

“Imran Khan’s get together supporters have warned that the federal government is making an attempt to create a legislation and order state of affairs with a view to postpone the Punjab elections,” Hyder added.

In April final 12 months, Khan, 70, turned the one Pakistani prime minister to be faraway from energy via a no-confidence vote in parliament. He’s dealing with a slew of instances towards him starting from “terrorism” and tried homicide to cash laundering since shedding energy.

Al Jazeera’s Hyder mentioned greater than 70 instances have been registered by the ruling coalition towards Khan, calling it a “political vendetta, He mentioned new instances are being introduced towards the PTI chief, with the police in Balochistan province prone to subject an arrest warrant towards him.

On Tuesday, the Islamabad Excessive Courtroom suspended an arrest warrant towards Khan in a case associated to the alleged unlawful buy and sale of presents given to him by overseas dignitaries whereas he was in workplace.

A single-judge bench of the court docket ordered the police to not arrest Khan till March 13. The court docket additionally ordered the previous premier to seem earlier than the involved court docket on March 13 within the overseas presents case.

Police on Sunday tried to arrest Khan from his residence in Lahore, however the cricketer-turned-politician evaded it.

Khan has been residing in Lahore since November when he was shot within the leg by a gunman throughout a protest rally. Since then, he has traveled to Islamabad solely as soon as – final week – for court docket appearances in different instances towards him.

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