Attack on finance minister’s car: 7 PPP activists arrested
MULTAN: Police arrested seven Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) activists on Tuesday for allegedly blocking a road in an attempt to attack the car taking Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz to a ceremony at a local hotel.
The PPP condemned the arrest of its members and the cases that were filed against them, describing this as “unfair and cruel”.
“We arrested the seven activists at their homes because they were involved in stopping and attacking Mr Aziz’s car during his visit to Multan on June 20,” said Hamid Mukhtar Gondal, the Multan district police officer. Mr Gondal said the police teams were conducting raids to arrest other PPP activists who had changed their places of residence. Those arrested included Malik Asad, the PPP district vice president, Hashim Khan Babur, Rauf Lodhi, Rana Shahid, Sharif Bhutta, Rao Sajid and Yasin Chaudhry. The police are searching for Sharifullah Khan, the president of PPP Unit No 4, and Saeed Moni.
PPP Multan President Khalid Hanif Lodhi and other local party leaders demanded their immediate release.
In a joint statement, they said the Multan district administration was aware the PPP was only holding a protest camp in front of the Multan Press Club to condemn the killing of Munawar Suharwardy, a close aide of Benazir Bhutto.
They said the Pakistan Seraiki Party (PSP) had also announced a demonstration against the allocation of development funds by the finance minister for southern Punjab in the federal budget. They said the local administration should have changed the route of the finance minister’s motorcade instead of taking him past the press club where the PPP and PSP protesters were agitating. “They encircled the car and shouted anti-government slogans but did not attempt to attack the car carrying the finance minister,” the statement said.
3 Nigerians sent to jail: Civil Judge Masood Bilal sent three Nigerian nationals to jail on judicial remand on Tuesday on charges of cheating, fraud and staying in Pakistan without valid passports.
Police said Abel Addena, Stanley and Briteny Branda, the three Nigerians, had exhorted Rs 100,000 each from Abdul Khaliq and Shakoor Ahmed, and were staying in Multan without valid passports.