LAHORE - On the instructions of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the Gujranwala police have registered a criminal case over the incident of stone pelting and firing at the Azadi march of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) while on its way to Islamabad.

PTI had accused Pomi Butt, the brother of PML-N MPA Imran Khalid Butt, of attacking the PTI marchers as well as inciting other workers of his party to violence. The container, carrying PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi and other leaders of the march also came under the attack.

A spokesman for the Punjab government said that after registration of the case, the police teams have been constituted to apprehend the accused persons.

Earlier, taking serious notice of the incident, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif sought a report from the IGP. He also directed the chief secretary, home secretary and the IGP to take immediate steps to ensure complete safety and security of the Azadi march of PTI.

Earlier, on receiving information of the incident, he ordered the officers to depute more security to the march and the Gujnranwala district administration to reach the scene and control the situation. The CM directed the IGP to get all offices of the PML-N on the march route closed.

The CM, expressing regret over the incident, said no one was above the law and action would follow against every person breaking the law, no matter how influential and powerful he was. He also urged the PML-N workers to be calm and patient and not to get provoked over adverse statements of the rival political leaders.


Punjab Law Minister Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan has asked Imran Khan to beware of Sheikh Rashid and Dr Tahirul Qadri as, according to him, both have their vested interests which they want to achieve at the cost of anything, including creation of disturbance.

Addressing a press conference here Friday, Rana Mashhood said Pervez Musharraf has also directed its party, APML, to join the PAT march, which signifies all dictatorial forces have united to sabotage democracy, but their conspiracy has been thwarted.

He said though the Azadi and Inqilab marches have failed to attract the crowd, the government is ready to give them a safe passage through negotiations. He said the government has not closed the doors of negotiations to Imran Khan and Dr Qadri who have been hijacked by others. He said Islamabad was tensed over the torture of a media man by PTI workers.

The minister deplored the Gujranwala stone-pelting incident and said 10 workers of PML-N, including Pomi Butt, have been apprehended and veracity of the allegations against them would be fathomed through investigations at judicial and police level.

He said PTI was perturbed over the failure of Azadi March. He stated the Gujranwala incident was tragic, but PTI leaders should take care in selection of words. He claimed PTI workers pelted stones on the office of the PML-N MPA in Gujranwala, which provoked the people. Rana Mashhood said: “We have never pelted stones on women and children nor will we do so in future.” He claimed the PTI march has flopped and people have rejected the protest by not participating in it. He said though the Lahore High Court had declared long marches and sit-ins unconstitutional, PTI was given the way. He said that after failure of the long march, PTI workers want confrontation.

Rana Mashhood said Tahirul Qadri has been continuously telling a lie regarding the Model Town incident. He claimed 10 persons died in the Model Town incident. He asserted provocative speeches of Qadri triggered the Model Town incident. He alleged the PAT chief wanted to do politics over dead bodies, urging him to show wisdom.

Rana Mashhood said that on the assurance of remaining peaceful, Pakistan Awami Tehreek was allowed to launch his long march.

When asked about the alleged video of the bribe scandal against him, he claimed the video was engineered to malign him and a three-member committee had been formed to probe the same. In the light of the report, he would sue the TV channel which telecast that video against him, he said.