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LAHORE: The Punjab government has withdrawn security provided to the members of the Sharif family except Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif who will continue to enjoy the entitled security at his declared residences in Punjab.

The decision to withdraw the security came a few days after the Punjab government decided to tighten the noose around the necks of senior PML-N leaders, including Atta Tarar, Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan and Malik Ahmed Khan, for their alleged role in manhandling of the PTI supporters during the Azadi March on May 25 and torture on former speaker of Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi during the chief minister’s election on April 16.

Sources said the Punjab Home Department on the direction of Provincial Home and Prisons Minister Col Muhammad Hashim (retired) has withdrawn the deployment of nearly 500 security personnel deputed at the Jati Umra and Model Town residences of the Sharif family while Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will continue to enjoy the entitled security cover at his declared residences in Punjab.

The sources said that the additional security cover provided to Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) Atta Tarar and other PML-N leaders has also been withdrawn.

The Punjab police had paid a visit to Atta Tarar’s residence in Lahore in the wee hours of Saturday and delivered a notice ordering him to appear before the authorities for investigation.

The raid was carried out at the residence of Tarar in G-3 Johar Town, but he was not present there at that time. Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ghulam Muhammad Dogar had said that notices were sent to Tarar and Rana Mashhood to appear before the investigation team probing the Punjab Assembly attack case.

It may be mentioned that during the PTI’s May 25 march, authorities had invoked Section 144, a measure used to curb gatherings, and had placed shipping containers on major thoroughfares to block the participants’ path. The protestors also met with tear gas and were baton-charged too. The PTI placed the blame for all these events on the previous provincial government led by PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz.

The PTI leaders particularly blamed Tarar and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah for employing “fascist and undemocratic” techniques to stop the party supporters. Subsequently, when the PTI government came to power in Punjab last month, it decided to initiate an inquiry into the events of the march.

In this regard, the Punjab government earlier this week sacked 25 station house officers (SHOs) for their alleged involvement in police action against the PTI marchers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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