Pakistan, Islamabad News : Condemning an attack on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf marchers in Gujranwala, Federal Minister for Information, Pervaiz Rashid Friday insisted that attacking political opponents had never been a policy of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN).
“Raising hurdles in the way of rivals’ political rallies was not like PMLN government. We have never resorted to such cheap shots”, the minister told Samaa.
Going forward, Rashid solemnly pledged to bring the perpetrators to book before long.
“No one should jump to any conclusion as it is yet not clear who assailed the participants of PTI march”, said he.
Replying to a question, Rashid said the government was trying its best to ensure the security of the marchers.
It must be mentioned here that Pomi Butt, the alleged main instigator of the attack, surrendered to police after calls for his arrest grew louder and louder; however, the search for the attackers is underway.
Earlier, clashes broke out as protesters led in convoys by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and a populist cleric advanced on the Pakistani capital to try to topple the government they say was elected by fraud.
Khan and preacher Tahir-ul-Qadri say the May 2013 general election that brought Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to power in a landslide was rigged, and are demanding he resign and hold new polls.
They plan to rally in Islamabad to press their claims, at the end of a “long march” — in reality a motorised cavalcade — which set off Thursday from the eastern city of Lahore, around 300 kilometres (190 miles) away.
Police and witnesses said activists from Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party clashed with supporters of Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-N (PMLN) in the town of Gujranwala, some 200 kilometres (120 miles) southeast of Islamabad.
Khan said shots were fired on his march, telling a news channel: “They threw stones at us while standing at police vans. They fired bullets at us.”