Punjab Govt crackdown on opposition in bid to thwart long march
Dozens of political activists and lawyers were arrested in Islamabad and across the Punjab Wednesday in a bid to thwart a planned protest march on the capital, police said.
Thirty five political activists and lawyers were arrested in Islamabad during raids launched overnight and continuing beyond daybreak, a senior police officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Those rounded up include members of Pakistan’s most popular opposition party, which is headed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who was last month disqualified from contesting elections.
A top leader in Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) party, Raja Zafarul Haq, was placed under house arrest, police said.
Police dressed in civilian clothes attempted to arrest lawyers’ movement leader Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan from his residence early Wednesday morning but he was not present at the time.
Many lawyers and MPs have gone into hiding to avoid detention, and were unreachable by telephone at their homes and offices.
Police also searched in vain for cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, who lives just outside the capital.
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This article was originally posted on Dawn