The federal government is beefing up security at the Punjab Governor House, asking for the deployment of Pakistan Rangers ahead of the PTI's call for a protest demonstration as the political crisis intensified in the provincial capital on Wednesday.
The development comes after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) announced to stage a power show outside the Punjab Governor House on Thursday (tomorrow) amid the opposition’s attempts to oust Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi.
“[PTI] chairman Imran Khan has decided that the party will hold gathering outside Governor House at 5pm tomorrow. We will not let anyone to take unconstitutional steps,” said PTI leader Hammad Azhar while addressing the media in Lahore.
He was referring to the PML-N’s announcement that Punjab governor will denotify CM Elahi over his failure to obtain vote of confidence from the House by 4pm today.
In a notification issued late Tuesday, the Ministry of Interior said, “.[…]Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) is requested to immediate necessary action with regard to beefing up the security at the Governor's House”.
Also read: Another showdown looms in Punjab
Meanwhile, the federal government has also decided to deploy Rangers and Frontier Constabulary to maintain law and order in the province amid brewing political crisis, Express News cited sources as saying.
They added that Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has instructed Punjab chief secretary and police chief to protect people's lives and property and perform their duties according to the Constitution and law.
Sanaulllah, according to sources, also warned the government officials serving in Punjab against following any illegal orders.
Another political showdown is looming in Punjab as the federal government insisted that Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi would “cease to hold” office after he failed to get a vote of confidence from the provincial assembly by 4pm today, while Governor Balighur Rehman declared Speaker Sibtain Khan's ruling on the confidence vote as “illegal and unconstitutional”.
Governor Rehman had directed Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi to seek a vote of confidence on December 21 (today) after the opposition parties — PPP and the PML-N — filed a no-confidence motion against Elahi in a bid to forestall the dissolution of the provincial assembly.
On Tuesday, Speaker Sibtain Khan, who was chairing the Punjab Assembly session, adjourned the sitting until Friday, instead of Wednesday (today) as directed by the governor. The speaker said that the governor’s letter asking the chief minister to seek a vote of confidence was against the assembly rules as well as the Constitution.