LAHORE: In response to the attack launched on the Nawankot Police Station in Lahore which led to the injury of six policemen, while a dozen other police officials were taken hostage, Special Assistant to the Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the police did not launch any operation against the miscreants.
She said that the police only opted for a retaliatory move in a bid to save the officers that the miscreants held hostage.
"The miscreants were armed with petrol bombs when they attacked the Nawankot Police Station, taking 12 policemen hostage and leaving six injured," Dr Awan said.
Sharing a statement by the Lahore police, she said that owing to the attack, in which the attackers used petrol bombs and bottles of acid, Rangers and police personnel were trapped inside the police station.
The miscreants held the deputy superintendent of police hostage at gunpoint, along with 11 other policemen, and drove them to their markaz (comprising a mosque and madrassah) nearby.
Aside from attacking the police station and kidnapping officials, the miscreants also stole an oil tanker carrying 50,000 litres of petrol, she said.
According to the police statement, the police pushed back the miscreants and took back possession of the police station.
"Police did not plan or conduct any operation against the mosque or madrassah. The action, if any, was in self-defence and to protect public property," read the statement.
Awan, confirming the same, said that any action taken was in self-defence and to rescue the police officers taken hostage.
She said that in clashes this week between protesters and police, six police personnel were martyred, while more than 700 were injured.
It should be recalled that last week, the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan — which was declared a proscribed organisation on Thursday — called for protests and sit-ins across the country which took a violent turn after protesters started clashing with the police. As a result, at least 3 people — including two policemen — were killed. Meanwhile, hundreds of police personnel sustained injuries while trying to disperse the protesting crowd during the three-day protest.
According to the police, the protesters also vandalised public and private property while blocking roads which lead to massive traffic jams in different cities of Pakistan, some of which even lasted for more than five hours. Owing to the traffic jams, flights had to be delayed, while hospitals in Lahore faced a critical situation due to a shortage of oxygen cylinders.
Commenting on Sunday's incident, Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said that while the government believes in holding a dialogue with different parties, it would not be blackmailed through violence.
"Police officials and Rangers personnel were abducted in Lahore, in response to which an operation had to be launched," he said while reiterating that the government will not be blackmailed by banned organisations.
The minister added that, as much as other people, Prime Minister Imran Khan is also an ardent follower of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) — something which he has proved time and again by bringing up the topic of respecting the Prophet of Islam on different forums.
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