Pakistan govt cracks down on anti-Sharif slogans

Stung by the political campaign to oust Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan's government has ordered a crackdown on those putting up slogans against the embattled premier on street walls across the country with an FIR lodged against five people including a woman.

Lahore: Stung by the political campaign to oust Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan's government has ordered a crackdown on those putting up slogans against the embattled premier on street walls across the country with an FIR lodged against five people including a woman.

Protesters from Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and fiery cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri's Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) have constantly raised slogans like "Go Nawaz Go" since the last two weeks.

Even Sharif's recent New York tour to address the UN General Assembly was greeted by "Go Nawaz Go" chants from the Pakistani community there embarrassing the prime minister and his government.

Police today registered the first FIR against five persons including a woman and a child for putting up slogans demanding Sharif's ouster in Saddar area in Gujrat district of Punjab province, some 200 kilometres from here.

According to the FIR, the five persons including a prayer leader, a woman and her 10-year-old child, had scrawled "Go Nawaz Go" slogans on some walls and trees of the area.

"We have registered a case against those involved in wall chalking whether it is 'Go Nawaz Go' or any other slogan or message," Muhammad Tayyab, a police official said.

He said, "We have orders from our superiors not to spare those involved in wall chalking," he said. To a question about booking the 10-year-old boy in the FIR, he said "he has been booked by mistake".

Cricketer-turned-politician Khan has been protesting against alleged rigging in the 2013 general election which his party lost.

He has been holding a sit-in in Islamabad for the last 50 days and rallies in other parts of the country to force Sharif to resign so that an independent inquiry can be launched into the rigging allegations.

Since Khan launched the anti-Sharif slogan drive a couple of weeks ago, his PML-N party's leaders have faced such slogans wherever they went in public.

Sharif, his brother and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, his nephew Hamza Shahbaz and a number of PML-N leaders had to face the embarrassment of protests during their visits to flood-hit areas in Punjab and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir where the affected people shouted "Go Nawaz Go" as they arrived.

Irritated by the protests, Shahbaz Sharif has warned Khan to call off his anti-Sharif slogan drive.

 

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