LAHORE – In a first sign of PML-N government show of power following the Panama verdict, the Lahore police arrested four young players from Railways Stadium for raising ‘Go Nawaz Go’ slogans.
The four players, who had come from Karachi for trials, were later released on the order of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Abrar, Fatehullah, Waheed, and another student were taken to Garhi Shahu police station.
Their arrest followed the speech of Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique during a sporting event’s awards ceremony at the Railway Stadium on Saturday.
Saad Rafique was making a speech at the railways athletics awards ceremony when the students in the crowd started chanting ‘Go Nawaz Go’.
Soon after the minister left the stadium, the students were thrown into the back of a police mobile van and taken away to an undisclosed location.
Speaking on the matter, Railways DG Najam Wali said that the students were arrested because they politicised an apolitical event.
“The minister [Saad Rafique] did not make a political speech yet the students tried to politicise the matter.”
“People came to the event to promote sports not for politics,” he added.
The incident was condemned by opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, with its leader Aleem Khan saying “Saad rafique and other PML-N leaders will have to encounter such situations time and again”.
“It is quite sad that the players were beaten by the police and then taken into custody,” he added.