ISLAMABAD: Islamabad police on Thursday conducted an operation inside the Parliament Lodges on the command of the director-general of police (operations).
The police launched an operation inside the Parliament Lodges and arrested more than a dozen Ansar-ul-Islam workers — a uniformed volunteer force of the JUI.
The DIG instructed the officials to evacuate media personnel from the building as they made their way towards the lodge of Ansar-ul-Islam MNA, Salahuddin Ayubi, which was situated on the fourth floor of the building.
Shortly afterwards, Ayubi’s staff and police personnel started a clash. Several parliamentarians of the PPP and PML-N were also present in the lodges at the time, while JUI’s Maulana Fazlur Rehman also reached the venue.
During a scuffle between police and Ayubi’s staff at the lodges, PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafique was injured when his foot hit the door.
Rafique, while talking to journalists, said that Ayaz Sadiq was holding a meeting in the lodges when the incident happened.
“We found out that the police had entered the lodges and had surrounded it,” he said, adding that when they contacted the police, they were informed that the police had warrants against some people.
“We tried to convince them that they could not enter the lodges, but the police personnel remained adamant and entered by force.”
I am ready to surrender myself: Fazl
Following the arrests of several workers and leaders, JUI chief Fazl arrived at the Parliament Lodges to surrender himself before the police.
Speaking to the journalists, he urged all his party workers to reach the Parliament Lodges as soon as possible.
He said that the “government wants to abduct the Opposition’s members of the National Assembly by arresting them” to reduce their numbers during the session when the no-confidence motion is moved.
“I will surrender myself along with some of my friends,” he said, urging all workers to reach Islamabad as soon as possible.
“I request all party workers to block roads and shut down businesses,” Fazl said.
According to Geo News, police have also arrested MNA Maulana Jamaluddin and spokesperson Mufti Abdullah.
PPP’s Asif Ali Zardari condemns ‘police brutality’
Former president and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari condemned the “police brutality” in Parliament Lodges, saying that “puppet Prime Minister Imran Khan is harassing the members of the Parliament by creating fear and terror.”
“Attempts are being made to oust not only JUI members but all assembly members,” he said, urging police personnel to stop following “illegal orders of puppet Imran Khan.”
Zardari further added that members of the assembly should keep their spirits high as “the Niazi government is breathing its last.”
Meanwhile, Adviser to Chief Minister Sindh on Law Murtaza Wahab, who is also the Administrator Karachi, said the federal government is “panicking” as the opposition has moved its no-confidence vote.
Fawad says action will be taken against JUI’s forces as per law
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhary Fawad Hussain said the attack of JUI’s force on Parliament Lodges is “condemnable by all aspects.”
Taking to his official Twitter handle, Chaudhry said that the armed group had reached Parliament Lodges to put pressure on parliamentarians.
He further said that the opposition will fail in its no-confidence motion against PM Imran Khan.
The minister said that the Speaker of National Assembly Asad Qaiser has directed the Islamabad police to take strict action against the facilitators of these groups and they will be dealt with according to the law.
Country might move towards a civil war: Sheikh Rasheed
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmed Rasheed said that the “country might move towards a civil war.”
Speaking about the clash between the police and Ansar-ul-Islam workers, Rasheed said: “Ansar-ul-Islam are attacking the police and [damaging] police vans.”
He further added that JUI-F brought 70 people, adding that they held negotiations with the party to hand over their workers.
Rasheed further added that the Opposition leaders are outside the Parliament Lodges, and they are trying to stop anyone from entering the premises.
The interior minister will also hold a press conference later tonight.
‘Islamabad police should refrain from becoming PM Khan’s stooges’
Taking notice of the issue, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said that Islamabad police should refrain from acting like the prime minister’s “stooges”.
“It is inappropriate to blame oneself for such insane acts, and the government will have to face difficulties because of this,” she wrote on Twitter.
Maryam urged PM Imran Khan to open his eyes and see his party falling because of his actions and not because of the Opposition or foreign conspiracy.
“You are responsible for this; your filthy language, arrogance, pride and disrespect for other leaders have led you to this position,” she said, adding that it’s too late now as his [Imran Khan’s] threats are useless now.
Police operation is proof of Imran Khan’s nervousness: Bilawal
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said the police operation in Parliament Lodges is “proof of Imran Khan’s nervousness.”
“Violence against members of the Parliament and their arrests is unbearable, this is enough,” he said, adding that consequences of such dictatorial acts will not be good for the PTI government.
The PPP leader said that PM Imran Khan’s efforts to frighten the members of the Parliament through the police will not bear fruits for him.
“Members of the Parliament have lost confidence in Prime Minister Imran Khan,” he said adding that “panicked and selected Imran Khan has started harassing the members of the Parliament.”
He said that families of Parliamentarians live in the Lodges and Imran Khan has violated the sanctity of the four boundaries.
Members of Parliament stage a sit-in inside its premises
The members of the Parliament have staged a sit-in inside its premises.
PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, leader of the Opposition in the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Akram Khan Durrani, PML-N leaders Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Khawaja Saad Rafique, PPP’s Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah and JUI-F General Secretary Abdul Ghafoor Haideri are present inside the Lodges.
According to sources, an emergency meeting is being conducted under the chairmanship of Fazl at the residence of the arrested MNA Salahuddin.
Sources informed Geo News that the next course of action is being discussed in the meeting.
On the other hand, the police have left the Lodges after arresting dozens and two MNAs. They have transferred 10 members to the Secretariat Police Station.
The police have arrested Ayubi and the spokesperson Mufti Abdullah during the 30-minute operation.
Other members of Ansar-ul-Islam left the Lodges after changing their clothes.
More to follow…