Police seek travel ban on another 245 PTI menArchive
RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD: The police department has sent the names of 245 PTI activists, including three former members of the provincial assembly, to the federal government for inclusion in the Provisional National Identification List (PNIL), to prevent them from leaving the country.
According to sources, the Rawalpindi district police have around 319 names on their wanted list, and have forwarded the names of 245 PTI activists who are in custody of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). The remaining 74 individuals have yet to be arrested.
On Tuesday, Lahore police sought the inclusion of 746 PTI leaders in the no-fly list, with the aim of imposing a one-month restriction on their foreign travel. After the request made by the Rawalpindi police, the total number of PTI activists who may be included on the list stands at 991.
Under the PNIL, individuals on the police wanted list are prevented from flying out of the country for 30 days, according to a senior police official.
Nearly 1,000 party activists recommended for no-fly list so far
After reviewing the cases of those arrested, the police finalised the names of 245 individuals who were detained during and after the May 9 violence. These names were then sent to the FIA to restrict their travel via air, land or sea routes.
Among those still wanted by the police but yet to be arrested are ex-MPA of PTI Rashid Hafeez, the nephew of Sheikh Rasheed; Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, who was previously arrested and later released; and Umar Tanveer Butt.
As per the information provided to the federal government, it was revealed that 31 suspects have been arrested by the RA Bazar police in connection with the attack on GHQ, while 27 others wanted by the police are still at large.
The temporary travel restrictions were proposed by the police after identifying the PTI supporters involved in violent protests through video clips, CCTV footage, intelligence and geo-fencing.
Under the supervision of City Police Officer (CPO) Syed Khalid Hamdani, the police investigation team has arrested 104 suspects in connection with the GHQ attack case, and identification parades for 23 individuals have been completed.
The police have been directed to expedite legal proceedings against those arrested in connection with the May 9 violence.
In this regard, the police have also requested the Punjab Home Department to constitute a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to investigate the terrorism-related cases registered under section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).
A police crackdown is under way to apprehend suspects wanted in connection with these cases.
Meanwhile, the officers stated that two separate teams of police, each supervised by a Superintendent of Police, have been formed to apprehend PTI leaders and activists from Punjab and KP. They added that the Punjab and KP police are being contacted for assistance in arresting the individuals wanted by the capital police in connection with the cases.
However, the feedback received from the KP police was not encouraging, as per the officers. They explained that the capital police received a response indicating that they are likely to encounter significant resistance during house raids for arrests, as it goes against the local culture for strangers to enter their homes.
Capital police have also requested the interior ministry to put the names of the PTI leaders on the PNIL and Exit Control List (ECL), who are still at large in connection with the cases registered against them over violence in May 2022 and 2023.
Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2023