Strategy evolved for Sept 30 Govt to wait LAHORE: After having stopped the PML-N cadre, especially the spokesman Zaeem Qadri, from issuing a “tit-for-tat” response statements against Imran Khan, the Punjab government now intends to closely watch every step of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf towards its Raiwind rally planned for Sept 30, and to “legally” catch it for any mischief.
According to official sources on Wednesday, the strategy is to refrain from any action that could bring legal or any other trouble for the PML-N government in Punjab, and instead legally proceed against Mr Khan and its party for anything wrong they may do.
They said the chief minister, while asking his party men to observe restraint, reprimanded Mr Zaeem Qadri for his press conference on Monday in which he had dared Imran Khan to come to the the Sharif family estate. “Don’t copy the behaviour of Imran Khan. I will not tolerate any Gullu or Pomi Butts,” Mr Qadri was reportedly told.
Mr Qadri admitted he was strictly asked to keep silent, and he would follow the command of the party leadership. “I had reacted to PTI’s march (plan) on Raiwind on my own volition. There was no instruction (to do so),” he told Dawn when asked whether the government was actually showing both the proverbial “carrot and the stick” to the PTI.
PML-N cadres barred from any ‘emotional response’
The sources said that instructions had been given to the party legislators and district heads to refrain from commenting on the PTI rally. A moot of the PML-N district presidents was also under consideration to ensure no-one indulged in emotional outburst.
They said after keeping the party out, the government now planned to handle the PTI rally on Sept 30 purely through police and administration. And this time they were being given a free hand to handle it professionally so as to avert any Model Town-like incident.
Both police and the administration would ask the PTI leaders to sit with them and decide the possible route of the rally and its culmination point, ensuring its workers would not harm any public or private property or pose a threat to anybody.
The PTI would be allowed to use its democratic right to protest but any violation of the decided route of the rally and code of conduct would be dealt with strictly under the law, the sources said.
The responsibility of any untoward incident or inconvenience caused to the public during the rally, necessitating road blockades would be of the PTI. Heavy contingents of police would be deployed to protect the rally from any act of terrorism, and the public life and property from its participants.
“The government intends to take legal action against PTI workers for any provocation, instead of replying to them in the same coin,” a senior official said.