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MULTAN: Section 144 was imposed in Multan on Friday in the midst of an ongoing political impasse in the country.
The section, which has been imposed in the city for two days, appears to be aimed at restricting political gatherings, assembly of five or more persons,carrying arms,making provocative slogans & speeches.
The enforcement comes days after club-wielding Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz workers led by the party’s district chief stormed the Multan residence of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
The workers had reportedly gathered on a call of the ruling party’s district president Bilal Butt for a sit-in at Chowk Daulat Gate to protest against alleged anti-democracy stance of Qureshi.
On Thursday, Multan police had lodged a case against over 60 PML-N activists in this regard.
The development comes as PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) supporters continue their protests and sit-in in Islamabad, calling for Nawaz Sharif to step down with PAT workers emphasising on a resignation from Shahbaz Sharif, the chief minister of Punjab.
About 10,000 people have fled their homes in northeast India as violence surged over a border dispute that has left some 15 people dead, officials said on Thursday.
Residents of remote Assam have sought shelter in makeshift camps set up by the state government after gunmen from neighbouring Nagaland launched attacks from across the border, a top official said.
“About 10,000 people were rendered homeless after unidentified gunmen from the Nagaland side attacked Assam villagers and set ablaze hundreds of houses forcing them to flee,” Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters in Assam’s main city of Gauhati.
Gogoi held crisis talks with his Nagaland counterpart and national junior home minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday over the violence which erupted between the villagers earlier this month. Clashes have erupted periodically between residents of villages straddling the two states over grabbing land along the border, since the creation of Nagaland in the 1960s.
Police fired on Wednesday on hundreds of angry protesters demonstrating in Assam’s Golaghat district against perceived government inaction over the violence, leaving three people dead. “A violent mob numbering about 4,000 armed with crude implements were on a rampage,” Assam police chief Khagen Sharma said.
“To control we first resorted to baton charge, tear gas shelling, and finally opened fire in which three people were killed,” he told reporters, adding that about a dozen others were injured.
The initial violence started on Aug 12 when the Nagaland villagers allegedly attacked the Assamese who retaliated, with clashes leaving some 12 people dead, an Assamese students’ group said.
“We have confirmed reports of 12 deaths so far in the Aug 12 incident and have their names and other details although the government is putting the death toll at nine,” Monowar Hussain, leader of the All Assam Students’ Union, said.
Nine Pakistanis, who had been detained at the Bagram prison in Afghanistan, have been repatriated, a non-profit law firm working for the release of Pakistani citizens detained in foreign prisons confirmed on Thursday. These are in addition to the 10 detainees released earlier this year.
The ministry of interior confirmed the release to the firm, a statement issued by Justice Project Pakistan (JPP). It added that the International Red Cross had informed the families of the detainees that the men had been handed over to Pakistani authorities.
The nine released detainees include Abdul Nabi, Sadar Muhammad, Zabet, Imran, Muhammad Iqbal, Imtiaz Khan, Shoaib Khan, Latifullah, Imranul Hassan. All have been held for several years without charge and access to a lawyer, the JPP said.
Barrister Sarah Belal of JPP says, “We are pleased to learn about recent releases from Bagram and are delighted for their families – their years-long nightmare is finally coming to an end.”
She hoped that the government would not keep these repatriated detainees from their families for too long and they would soon be allowed to go home.