Punjab [Pakistan], May 10: Army troops have been deployed in Pakistan’s Punjab province to maintain law and order following protests triggered by the arrest of the country’s former prime minister Imran Khan on Tuesday, Dawn reported.
“Federal Government, in the exercise of the powers conferred under Article 245 of the Constitution and Section 4 (3) (ii) of Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 (to discharge such functions as specified in the said act), is pleased to authorize the deployment of Pakistan Army troops/assets for maintaining law and order situation across the Punjab province in aid of civil power,” the Ministry of Interior of Pakistan said in an official order.
“The exact numbers of troops/assets, date and area of deployment will be worked out by the provincial government in consultation with MO Dte, GHQ,” a notification said.
Punjab and Balochistan governments imposed Section 144 in their respective provinces on Tuesday in response to protests staged across the region following the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case.
Angry protestors stormed government buildings and blocked roads in response to Imran Khan’s detention prompting authorities to enact Section 144.
While his lawsuit against the Al-Qadir University Trust is still being heard by a special accountability court, Khan is being represented by a group of lawyers that includes Khawaja Haris, Barrister Ali Gohar, and Advocate Ali Bukhari.
The interim government of Punjab has brought in Pakistan Rangers, and the province’s mobile and internet services have been suspended, according to Samaa TV.
Significant decisions were made to address the law and order situation throughout the province in a meeting of the Provincial Intelligence Committee chaired by the Additional Chief Secretary of the Home Department.
In the wake of the ongoing unrest, the Islamabad administration also implemented Section 144 in the capital territory.