Long march: Govt, PTI trade barbs in Senate committee

ISLAMABAD – The ruling coalition and the PTI on Tuesday traded barbs in a Senate panel over the alleged use of force by the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) on the workers and supporters of the opposition party during tehe PTI’s May 25 anti-government long march to Islamabad.

The Senate Standing Committee on Interior that met under the chair of Senator Mohsin Aziz formed a sub-committee to investigate the alleged use of force, raids and registration of cases against workers of PTI before and after the long march.

The lawmakers belonging to the PTI came down hard on the government saying that the police and LEAs resorted to violence on the political workers to that larger extent which was not recorded during the martial law regime of then military ruler General Ziaul Haq.

On the other hand, Law Minister and Leader of the House in the Senate Azam Nazeer Tarar told the committee that it was a sub judice matter and should not be discussed in the committee. He said that the rules did not allow taking up the matter that is before the courts.

The chair said that the police broke into the houses of political workers without search and arrest warrants and violated the sanctity of privacy.

Senator Shibli Faraz said that the police acted in such a manner that never happened even during the Zia regime. He questioned from Inspector General of Police Islamabad Dr Akbar Nasir Khan to explain his position and inform what was the wisdom behind this.

Leader of the Opposition Dr Shahzad Waseem said that people vandalized private vehicles in the presence of police and questioned what action was taken against such people? He demanded that the details of teargas shells used against workers should be presented before the committee.

The IG Police clarified before the committee that police neither used rubber bullets nor expired shells of teargas.

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