LAHORE - Lahore police have no plans to detain leaders or workers of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) ahead of the countrywide protest campaign against the government, police officials said on Tuesday.

“Not a single leader or activist (of the PTI) has been arrested or detained in Lahore. The reports regarding the possible police crackdown on the PTI workers are untrue and unfounded,” Lahore Operations police chief, DIG Haider Ashraf told this reporter on Tuesday. He said that the police would leave no stone unturned to maintain peace and law and order situation in the provincial metropolis.  Police sources revealed that the law enforcing agency personnel are asked not to arrest any PTI worker unless they are found involved in hooliganism or violent activities.

On the other hand, a spokesperson for the PTI (Punjab Chapter) Dr Yasmin Rashid claimed that dozens of their workers and local leaders had been arrested amid police crackdown across the Punjab province.  Reportedly, the provincial government has been planning to launch a massive crackdown against the PTI workers and leaders to stop them from reaching Islamabad to join anti-government sit-in.

According to a TV report, the local administration has compiled a list of 1000 vehicles belonging to the PTI workers and leaders ahead of the November 30 protest campaign. The authorities have decided in principle that the drivers would be arrested and the buses would also be impounded. The main objective of the crackdown is to frustrate the PTI protest campaign, says the report.