Election Commission of Pakistan orders ‘detailed inquiry’ into PTI-PML-N clash at election office in Lahore
LAHORE, June 19 ( Web News )
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Sunday ordered a “detailed inquiry” into a clash reported between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) workers at an election office in Lahore’s PP-167 constituency on Saturday night after the former ruling party alleged that “dozens of PTI workers” were injured.
In written instructions to the Lahore Capital City Police Officer, the electoral body’s District Monitoring Officer Nabeel Ahmed noted that an “incident of firing/clash” had occurred near the Allah Hoo Chowk between a “PML-N candidate and PTI workers”, and initial inquiry reports suggested that few people had been injured.
“In this regard, a detailed inquiry into the incident may be conducted immediately and report thereof be shared with this office,” he said.
Political affiliations, the official added, would not be taken into account during the investigation process, asserting that all police officials should be directed to ensure the implementation of the electoral code of conduct.
Son of PTI candidate in PP-167 Khalid Gujjar and son of PML-N candidate Nazir Ahmed Chohan were injured after a clash erupted as the two parties have launched campaigns in the constituency for the scheduled by-election in July.
The police confirmed the incident and said that the clash occurred between the PML-N and PTI candidates. PTI candidate Khalid Gujjar claimed that their office in PP167 was attacked by Nazir Chohan who tore apart their banners as his guards opened fire.
“My son got injured after being hit by a vehicle and is currently being treated at Jinnah Hospital,” he said and added that they have submitted a formal request for registration of an FIR against the suspects.
Meanwhile, PML-N candidate has claimed that he was returning home after campaigning when PTI workers opened fire and injured his son.
The ECP has announced schedule for election on 20 provincial seats vacated after defecting MPAs of the PTI were de-seated. The candidates will be announced election symbols on June 24, while polling will be held on July 17.
Earlier on Sunday, the PTI had claimed that their election office in Lahore’s PP-167 constituency was attacked by party dissident Nazir Ahmed Chohan on Saturday night. Nazir Chohan, meanwhile, made similar claims.
PTI’s Hammad Azhar alleged that Chohan, along with a police officer, attacked the party’s election office and injured “dozens of workers”. “A shot was fired at the head of the [party] candidate’s nephew,” he said, claiming that police were refusing to file a report.
PTI leader Shahbaz Gill said that Chohan and his “goons” attacked the election office of the party’s candidate located at Allah Hoo Chowk. He alleged that they also injured the candidate’s son Adil before fleeing from the scene.
“These turncoats are not in control of their senses. Faced with fear, they have resorted to such despicable tactics,” he said.
Meanwhile, at a press conference later on Sunday, Nazir Ahmed Chohan claimed that more than 100 PTI workers attacked him with sticks and weapons late Saturday night.
“I was on my way back home at 3am when some vehicles blocked my way near the Allah Hoo Chowk,” he said. “Shabbir Gujjar and his accomplices misbehaved with me and threatened to take my life. They also fired at my car with modern weapons.”
Chohan also said that there were more than 100 PTI workers on the site. “I escaped narrowly from there with burst tyres,
He further stated that PTI knew PML-N would win from the PP-167 constituency. “They are using such tactics because they know they will lose,” the dissident PTI leader claimed, adding that PTI workers had “conducted a recce of the route I had to take back home”.
Chohan also called on the Punjab police, security agencies and top leadership of the province to provide him security.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Lahore police said in a statement that officials had begun the process of identifying and searching for the shooter. “No one is allowed to take the law into their own hands,” he said.
He went on to say that strict action would be taken against the suspect who open fire and spread panic, adding that officials had also obtained CCTV footage of the incident.
Law and order will be ensured during the campaign for the by-polls, the official said, adding that the electoral code of conduct would be enforced. The spokesman reiterated that no one was above the law and that strict action would be taken against violators. He concluded the statement by saying that the Lahore DIG Operations had constituted a committee headed by Saddar SP.