Punjab chapter of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party has warned the provincial government of launching a protest movement from the coming Monday if the dispensation failed in recovering Shahbaz Taseer, son of assassinated ex-Governor Punjab Salman Taseer.
This was told to the mediamen on Saturday at a press conference by President PPP Punjab President Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, who also mentioned that Opposition Leader at the Punjab Assembly Raja Riaz Ahmed would submit a requisition for convening Punjab Assembly session to discuss the issue after Monday. “All constitutional options will be adopted,” he asserted.
Warraich further added that a protest movement would be launched against the Punjab government from Monday if Shahbaz Taseer was not recovered. “Protest rallies will be organised at district level to press for the recovery of the abducted,” he stated, while condemning the incident, and asserting that the incident had disturbed all citizens of the province. “This has amply substantiated the poor situation of ever-increasing crime, and law and order in Punjab. Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif must improve the law and order situation in his “own province” and then talk about other provinces,” he suggested, in an implicit reference to the CM’s Punjab recent visit to chaotic Karachi. “Lahore is Punjab’s capital and has headquarters of the Punjab Police, but no progress has been made in young Taseer’s case so far,” he mentioned.
To depict what he believed poor law and order situation, Warraich quoted crime figures in the Punjab, and mentioned that last year, 75,419 crime cases were registered, and 627 of these were murder cases. “As many as 170 rape and 160 cases of torture against government servants have been registered last year. So far almost 13,497 cases of kidnap were registered, while 2,176 were in Lahore alone. 8,974 cases of kidnap for ransom have been registered so far during the current year,” he noted, while asserting that the crime ratio in Punjab had increased by 30 per cent. “The PML-N leadership cannot make tall claims of good governance in the province when these figures are taken into consideration,” he maintained.
While responding to a question about the suo motu on Taseer’s abduction, Warraich did not offer any comment, except “Courts are independent to take notice.”
While bitterly criticising the provincial dispensation in failing to control law and order situation, especially abduction of his predecessor’s son Shahbaz Taseer, Governor Punjab Sardar Latif Khan Khosa has condemned the Friday’s incident, and termed it unbearable.
“This amply proves failure of the Punjab government in controlling law and order situation in the province,” he remarked, while talking to the mediamen outside the house of former Governor Punjab Salman Taseer, where the incumbent had gone to meet the family members of Shahbaz Taseer. He assured the family that both federal and provincial governments would leave no stone unturned for recovering young Taseer.
Khosa said that all federal law enforcement agencies and the Punjab police were jointly making efforts to recover abducted Taseer. He also told the mediamen that the Inspector General Police and Home Secretary Punjab had briefed him since they were called by the Governor to tell him about the investigation. While mentioning that he had been a criminal lawyer with a vast experience of the subject, Khosa said he had given guideline to the IGP and the Secretary, and the officers had been directed to expand the purview of the probe.
He also mentioned that Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan had also telephoned him, and as per Article 131 of the constitution, the Minister briefed the Governor about the administrative matters.
To a question about the investigation, Khosa replied that the law enforcement agencies had gathered some evidence, and hoped that soon the agencies would recover Taseer safe and sound.
Khosa remarked that unfortunately the incidents of kidnapping were increasing every day, and the Punjab government would have to seriously think about making the law and order situation better since it was the duty of the provincial dispensation to do so. “The Centre will provide all assistance for this,” he said, adding that the most important issue at the moment was to secure release of alive Taseer. “The rest are provincial matters, and reservations, which will be transmitted to the federal government later on,” he said.