Parliamentarians arrested by police in Pakistan

Islamabad, Pakistan: Heavy contingents of police commandos and other law enforcement agencies gathered around the Parliament Lodges under the command of DIG (Operations), The News International reported.

“We tried to convince them that they could not enter the lodges, but the police personnel remained adamant and entered by force,” PMLN leader Khawaja Saad Rafique who was injured in the scuffle was quoted as saying.

The police action came after members of Ansarul Islam, a uniformed volunteer force set up to protect the leadership of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F), entered the Parliament Lodges in large numbers, reported Dawn.

JUI leader and Member of the National Assembly (MNA) Salahuddin Ayubi refused to accept the police’s demand saying that the Ansarul activists were their guests and legally staying with them.

Shortly afterward, clashes between Ayubi’s staff and police personnel erupted. Several Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) parliamentarians were also present in the lodges at the time, while JUI’s Maulana Fazlur Rehman also reached the venue, The News International said citing sources.

The DIG at the spot also instructed the officials to evacuate media personnel from the building as they made their way towards the lodge of MNA, Salahuddin Ayubi.

The police commandos broke into the suite of Salahuddin Ayubi and arrested activists of Ansarul Islam, dragged them out of the room, shifted them to the police prisoner vans and took them to an unknown place.

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 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

Taking notice of the issue, PMLN Vice President Maryam Nawaz said that Islamabad police should refrain from acting like the prime minister’s “stooges”.

“You (Imran Khan) 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 (Khan’s) threats are useless now, the report said.

The development comes amid growing discontent against the Imran Khan government, with Pakistan’s main opposition parties filing a no-confidence motion against the Pakistan PM on Tuesday in the National Assembly.

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