PML-N condemns ‘state-sponsored terrorism’ at symbolic inauguration of Green Line project

PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif strongly condemned  the “violence” on Thursday against PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal and party workers during a symbolic inauguration of Green Line Bus Rapid Transit service in Karachi.

Iqbal, along with other party leaders and workers, gathered in Nazimabad to inaugurate the project.

PML-N condemns 'state-sponsored terrorism' at symbolic inauguration of Green Line project

However, Rangers personnel stopped the party members from going towards the pedestrian bridge. Chaos ensued and a scuffle broke out between the crowd and the law enforcement personnel.

The party demanded an investigation into the matter and punishment to individuals responsible.

A PML-N statement on Twitter said that “on the orders of Imran Niazi” Iqbal and other party workers were subjected to “unwarranted violence”.

“A baton charge on peaceful workers, torture and maltreatment is condemnable and highly regrettable,” the statement said.

“Unwarranted violence against political and democratic workers is unacceptable,” it further added.

‘PML-N workers subjected to state-sponsored violence’

Later, while speaking to the media, Iqbal said PML-N workers had been subjected to “state-sponsored violence” and claimed that his hand was injured after being struck by a stick.

Iqbal said that the Green Line project was initiated by the PML-N government in 2016 and its foundation stone was laid by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

He added that 90% of work on the project was completed by May 2018 and the rest was supposed to be completed by December 2018, however, the incumbent government “prolonged the project” for more than three years.

“This government keeps taking credit for the plans initiated by PML-N,” Iqbal said, adding that when they reached today for the inauguration of the project, the government displayed the “worst form of state-sponsored terrorism.”

“During our tenure, we never used the Rangers personnel for political purposes. I hope the army leadership will take notice of this incident,” he added.

‘PML-N’s sole contribution was starting track’s construction’

Meanwhile, following a visit to the project’s Operation Centre, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar rejected all claims made by Iqbal regarding his party’s contribution to the Green Line Bus Rapid Transit service, saying that the “only contribution” was the start of the track’s construction.

“No work took place after that,” Umar remarked, following a visit to the project’s Operation Centre.

“Perhaps their plan was for commuters to run from Surjani to Numaish,” the minister said.

He added that all matters including operations, tickets and purchase of buses were completed by the incumbent government.

Iqbal had earlier in the day, symbolically inaugurated the project and credited former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for completing the project.

Speaking on the occasion, Governor Sindh Imran Ismail said that the PPP has “not even provided a single bus” to the people of Karachi in the last 13 years.

Ismail said that the buses will undergo a 15-day trial period. After December 25, passengers will be able to purchase a ticket and travel.

PM Imran Khan to inaugurate Green Line project tomorrow

Last week, taking to his Twitter handle Asad Umar gave Karachiites the good news that the premier will launch the much-awaited project on December 10.

He wrote: “The PM @ImranKhanPTI will Inshallah inaugurate Karachi’s first modern transport system, greenline BRT, on the 10th of December.”

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