Pak Affairs

Detention of leaders, workers aimed for peaceful SC, EC process: Govt

ISLAMABAD: Interior Ministry Spokesman Brig. Retd. Javed Iqbal Cheema Tuesday said that some political leaders and over one hundred people in Punjab and Islamabad have been placed under preventive detention to ensure a peaceful environment during the important hearings of the highest judicial forum and the completion of procedures by the Election Commission for holding of presidential election.

In his weekly new briefing here on Tuesday, he said instructions have been issued to the provincial governments and law enforcement agencies to ensure strict implementation of law in order to maintain peace and order.The spokesman said facing threats of agitation and “gherao” of the Supreme Court and the election Commission the government was left with no option but to take firm action to maintain public peace and order and protect the sanctity of august institutions.

He said the section 144 restrictions were being flouted at will by the sponsors of the unlawful campaign. Consequently the government had taken steps within the parameters of law as no government can allow any activities designed to create disturbance and chaos. To a question about concern showed by the European Union and the United States over the arrest of opposition leaders, the spokesman said Pakistan knows best what to do or what not to do to maintain peace and tranquility, actions are being taken according to the law of the land, he added.

Answering a question, he said offices and educational institutions will be remained opened in the federal capital on September 29, the scrutiny day of nomination papers for presidential elections at Election Commission. He said it is responsibility of the government to ensure peace, and law and order would be maintained at all costs. He said instructions have been issued to the Islamabad administration in this regard.

Brig. Cheema said situation in the tribal areas is showing signs of improvement as a result of the ongoing negotiations involving tribal elders. Twenty-six personnel of the security forces, he said, have been safely released and we expect further progress in the same direction in the days ahead. When his attention was drawn to the demands of militants for release of their companions, he categorically stated that there would be no quid-pro-quo. After the release of 26 security personnel, there are one hundred and fourteen remained in the custody of militants.

The spokesman pointed out that the government is pursuing multi-faceted efforts to establish peace and order in the sensitive region as quickly as possible so that attention can be focused on development and uplift of the Tribal Area for the welfare of the tribesmen. Responding to a question about threat by Osama Bin Laden, the spokesman said the government’s resolve to weed out terrorism and extremism is absolutely unshakable. In this connection, he said, the fight against terrorism will be taken to its logical end and threats by any one would not shake the government’s resolve.

The Interior Ministry spokesman said Pakistan and Britain have agreed to hold the second meeting of the Joint Working Group on counter terrorism and organized crimes in the first week of November in London. The joint mechanism is aimed at bolstering bilateral cooperation and coordination in combating terrorism and activities of criminal gangs involved in organized crimes, he said.-SANA

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Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times

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