PPP urges SC to take suo motu notice of arrested workers
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Friday urged the Supreme Court (SC) to take suo motu notice of the arrests of PPP workers and to stop the Punjab chief minister from disrupting the welcome rally of Asif Ali Zardari.
In a letter addressed to the SC chief justice, Mr Kamran Zafar, PPP secretariat in charge, said, “Asif Ali Zardari, former senator and the spouse of Benazir Bhutto is arriving in Lahore on April 16 from Dubai”. He said hundreds of PPP workers had volunteered to receive the PPP leader at Lahore Airport. “However, the Punjab administration, frightened at the show of popular support, has abused its powers and has disrupted our constitutional rights by denying us our basic political and democratic rights,” he said.
“The illegal imposition of Section 144, the arrests of our workers, the forcible removal of banners and the tearing of posters and billboards are indicative of the fact that Punjab Chief Minister Pervez Elahi wants to disrupt Zardari’s welcome,” he said.
“By doing this they are abusing their power, a criminal offence under the National Accountability Ordinance (NAB). Despite senior PPPP officials assuring them that the rally and procession would be peaceful, the provincial government has resorted to high-handedness,” he said.
“Such harsh and discriminatory measures are a clear violation of the principles of fair play, equity and justice and this will cast a portentous shadow on the rule of law in the country,” he added. “It would not be out of place to mention the double standards of the regime. Religious political parties such as the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) were allowed to have a million-man procession in different parts of the country,” he noted.
Meanwhile, in a letter addressed to Commonwealth Secretary General Donald McKinnon, Fauzia Wahab, central coordinator human rights desk wrote, “At 11pm on April 12, the Punjab police received a formal circular from the chief minister that all PPP activists and office-bearers should be arrested with immediate effect under a preventive detention known as the Maintenance of Public Order”. staff report