Ahead of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's long march to Islamabad today, Pakistan Muslim League's (Nawaz) leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif claimed that the Punjab Police has recovered a large number of weapons from the PTI leaders.
"Weapons recovered by Punjab Lahore police from vehicles of PTI Lahore office bearers Zubair Niazi and Bajash Niazi. Case registered. This is the ugly face of the so-called Long March. These are the intentions," tweeted the PML-N leader.
Further, Nawaz provided details of the weapons recovered which comprise six 223 bore guns, three pistols, 10 Kopay, 13 sub-machine guns(SMG), 96 magazines of SMG rifles, 50 boxes of bullets, and another bigger packet of bullets.
The Punjab government said that the weapons were recovered from the vehicles of the office bearers of the PTI, reported Dawn newspaper. The weapons were retrieved the day when the Imran Khan-led PTI launched its march. More senior leaders of the PTI were also rounded up.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan had earlier announced that his party's long protest march to Islamabad will begin on May 25 demanding the dissolution of the National Assembly and a date for the next general election and invited people to join in large numbers.
Lahore DIG Operations Sohail Chaudhry said that a few days ago, the police had received information about "illegal weapons" to be brought into the city.
"During the blockades yesterday, we tried to stop five cars on the motorway. Later, in a raid at the homes of PTI Lahore office bearers Zubair Niazi and Bajash Niazi, the weapons were recovered. The leaders have been taken into police custody," said Sohail Chaudhry, as reported by Dawn newspaper.
Meanwhile, the police arrested key members of the PTI and cut off the capital Islamabad under the direction of the Shehbaz Sharif government. The Pakistan police raided the houses of the PTI leaders and workers. PTI leader, Mian Mehmood-ur- Rasheed was arrested after the police made a late-night raid under section 16 of the Maintenance of the Public Order (MPO).
The government rounded up over 1,000 PTI leaders and workers in a crackdown designed to derail the party's plans for a massive power show in Islamabad.
Further, Section 144 was imposed in Lahore, the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad and Karachi, as well as other major cities in the country, while the Punjab government sought the deployment of Rangers to control the law and order situation.
The federal capital has been sealed from the rest of the country as all entry and exit points leading towards Islamabad were closed down with the heavy deployment of police and containers. Officers in the capital have stated that the government has agreed on two plans, either allowing the PTI marchers to enter Islamabad or intercepting them at entry points, reported Dawn newspaper. (ANI)