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HomeNewsNational NewsPunjab enforces section 144 amid PTI's nationwide protests for Imran Khan's release

Punjab enforces section 144 amid PTI’s nationwide protests for Imran Khan’s release

On Friday, the Punjab government enforced Section 144 throughout the province due to the “prevailing law and order situation,” effectively banning protests and public gatherings.

This enforcement coincides with PTI’s planned nationwide protests demanding the release of their detained leader, Imran Khan.

According to an order issued by the Home Department, seen by Dawn.com, Section 144 is in effect immediately and will remain for seven days.

The Punjab Police explained that Section 144 allows authorities to issue orders in the public interest, which may temporarily ban certain activities.

The order stated: “It has been observed that in view of the prevailing law and order situation and security threats, any gathering/assembly is likely to provide soft targets to terrorists and miscreants, which not only pose serious security threats but also is likely to cause threats to public peace and order as well as inconvenience to the public at large.”

While the order did not specify the exact reason for the ban, issuing secretary Noor Ul Amin Mengal wrote that “pressing and adequate grounds exist for proceeding under Section 144 […] as an immediate prevention and speedy remedy to ban forthwith certain activities in Punjab.”

Effective immediately, assemblies, gatherings, sit-ins, rallies, processions, demonstrations, jalsas, dharnas, protests, and similar activities are prohibited.

The imposition of Section 144 in Punjab follows PTI’s announcement of nationwide protests for the release of Imran Khan.

A social media post on platform X reported “multiple illegal police raids” on the houses of PTI leaders in Khanewal. The party also claimed that the office of PTI leader PP-209 Khanewal Humayun Khan was raided and ransacked by police.

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In the National Assembly, Leader of the Opposition Omar Ayub condemned the imposition of Section 144 and urged NA Deputy Speaker Ghulam Mustafa Shah to declare the ban unconstitutional. The deputy speaker responded that it was a “provincial matter” and expressed hope for a resolution.

PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan criticized the ban as “a shameful act on the part of the entire form 47 criminal government.”

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