Query response on Pakistan: Violence against members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) perpetrated by members of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) in 2013 and 2014 (in particular in Punjab province) [a-8832]

28 August 2014

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to ACCORD within time constraints and in accordance with ACCORD’s methodological standards and the Common EU Guidelines for processing Country of Origin Information (COI).

This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status, asylum or other form of international protection.

Please read in full all documents referred to.

Non-English language information is summarised in English. Original language quotations are provided for reference.


For general information on the PML-N and the PML-Q, please refer to pages 21-22 and 28-29 of the following June 2013 country report:

·      ACCORD - Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation: Pakistan - COI Compilation, June 2013 (available at ecoi.net)



Among the sources consulted by ACCORD within time constraints only little information could be found on incidents of violence against PML-Q members perpetrated by PML-N members in 2013 and 2014. The query response therefore also includes information on incidents where PML-Q members were (allegedly) targeted by authorities. Almost all specific incidents found occurred in Punjab province.


In an editorial published in December 2013, the Pakistani daily newspaper The Nation provides the following brief background information on the Pakistan Muslim League and its different factions:

“The Muslim League is marking the 107th anniversary of its founding today. The party which was founded this day in Dhaka today stands split into factions and riven apart into factions, which reflect the failure of the present crop of League leaders to implement the vision of the founding fathers, and their desire for a modern, democratic, Islamic welfare state for the Muslims of India. […]

Though it is in office today in the Centre and two provinces [Punjab and Balochistan, remark by ACCORD] through the PML-N, it is also in the opposition through the PML-Q. Even the PML-N seems to have accepted this, and to have accepted other League factions, such as the PML-Z and the PML-F, as allies.” (Nation, 30 December 2013)

In an article of August 2014, the Pakistani daily newspaper The Express Tribune cites the PML-Q Sindh chapter president as criticizing the federal and the Punjab governments (both led by the PML-N, remark by ACCORD) for targeting political workers of different parties:

“The party’s Sindh chapter president, Haleem Adil Sheikh, made this announcement at a press conference at Karachi Press Club on Thursday. Sheikh criticised the federal and the Punjab governments for the use of ‘undemocratic’ means against political workers of different parties. ‘Our workers are being harassed in Rahim Yar Khan [city in the South of Punjab, remark by ACCORD] and other areas,’ he alleged. ‘It is the worst kind of civilian dictatorship and we won’t allow them [Sharif brothers] to continue with this treatment.’ […] Sheikh said that the crime in the Punjab had increased by almost 100 times over the last 14 months, adding that provincial lawmakers of the ruling parties were threatening various professionals, including doctors.” (Express Tribune, 8 August 2014)

The Pakistani daily newspaper The Frontier Post notes in August 2014 that several political parties, including the PML-Q, “are at daggers drawn” with the PML-N government:

“Political turmoil has gripped Pakistan as PAT (Pakistan Awami Tehreek), PTI (Pakistan Tehreek Insaf) & PML Q are at daggers drawn with PML N govt. PAT which is a political face called Minhaj ul Quran is flexing muscles by getting involved in physical clashes with Punjab police. In the wake of bloody incident in June in which scores of PAT workers got killed, authorities are taking extra care and have deprived police of fire arms.” (Frontier Post, 13 August 2014)

An August 2014 article by the Indian weekly magazine Outlook India reports that security forces blocked roads to Lahore to prevent an anti-government demonstration planned by Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) leader Tahir-ul-Qadri from taking place. PML-Q members were also prevented from reaching Lahore’s Model Town where the PAT has its headquarters:

“Fighting between security forces and supporters of Qadri, who has vowed to lead a ‘revolution’ against the Nawaz Sharif government, began Friday and continued till Saturday evening as police blocked roads to Lahore to stop the religious leader's planned rally against the government. Qadri, chief of PAT, is observing a ‘Martyrs' Day’ today in protest of the killings of his 14 activists in a police attack at the party headquarters in Model Town on June 17. Qadri has said that he will also announce the date for his 'Inqlabi March' [‘March for Revolution’, remark by ACCORD] today. Police today blocked various other roads in Lahore and motorway that connects the city with other parts of the province in order to stop the Qadri supporters to reach Model Town. The police have stopped the workers of other parties like PML-Q, MQM [Muttahida Qaumi Movement] and Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen from reaching Model Town.” (Outlook India, 10 August 2014)

In an article dated June 2014, the Pakistani daily newspaper Pakistan Today notes that members of the PML-Q and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) who were staging an anti-government march clashed with police near Balkassar in Punjab province:

“A convoy of more than 1,000 workers of Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) clashed with the police after it was forcibly stopped at Balkassar Interchange by Chakwal Police Monday. The clash left several men injured and vehicles damaged. The procession comprised political workers on more than 150 different variants of vehicles, chanting slogans in favour of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri and against the government. The convoy had started its journey from the residence of PML-Q leader Hafiz Aamar Yasir from Talagang, which upon reaching Naka Kahout near Balkassar Interchange was interrupted by police obstacles. The procession was stopped and subjected to tear gas shelling in bid to discourage it from proceeding and dispersing the protestors. In retaliation, the political workers threw bricks and stones at police, injuring a police constable Ain Abbas among others.” (Pakistan Today, 23 June 2014)

In an article of June 2014, the Pakistani daily newspaper The News International reports on protest against the arrest of PML-Q members in Islamabad and Rawalpindi on the basis of “false cases”:

“Different organisations, including lawyers, continue condemning and protesting against the uncalled for arrests of the PML-Q workers in Islamabad and Rawalpindi and registration of false cases against them. According to a spokesman for the PML-Q, Chakwal Bar Association has also condemned the arrests of the innocent workers hailing from Attock and Chakwal. On Friday, the lawyers boycotted the courts in protest and described this act of the government as height of lawlessness. Condemning registration of false cases and police excesses in strong words against PML central leader Hafiz Ammar Yasir and his colleagues, Wifaq-ul-Madaris Al-Arabia Pakistan [federation of Islamic Seminaries around the world, remark by ACCORD] General Secretary Maulana Hanif Jalandhari said that the rulers should end the tradition of vindictive activities and negative attitudes and promote positive and serious political traditions. He said such deplorable treatment of those doing political struggle in a peaceful, constitutional and legal manner caused disruption and chaos in society and this should be avoided. Maulana Hanif Jalandhari demanded of the government that baseless and false cases should be dropped forthwith and the police officials involved in police excesses should be given exemplary punishment.” (News International, 28 June 2014)

Another article by the same source reports on violence on the day of the 11 May 2013 general election. According to the article, PML-Q and PML-N members clashed at Denachak polling station in Punjab province, leaving at least one person injured:

“LALAMUSA: […] On the other hand, PML-Q and PML-N workers clashed with each other at the Denachak polling station in NA [National Assembly] -107. A man identified as Asif was injured in the clash, while the police arrested Irfan Naseer Maruwal.” (News International, 12 May 2013)

An early May 2013 article by The Express Tribune reports on the following pre-election incident in Ferozewala, Punjab province:

“LAHORE: A man was shot dead here in Ferozewala on Wednesday, apparently in a dispute over the placement of election advertisements. Iftikhar Jafri, 40, was putting up banners and posters in support of PML-Q candidate for PP [Province of Punjab]-164 Syed Ali Abbas Gul Agha in Imamia Colony and sought to place one near the office of Chaudhry Abbas Gujjar, who is supporting a PML-N candidate at NA-132. Gujjar warned Jafri not to put up the banner there and an argument ensued, according to a complaint made to Ferozewala police by Jafri’s relatives and other party workers. Gujjar and other men then shot and killed Jafri, the complainants said.” (Express Tribune, 2 May 2013)

Another pre-election incident involving supporters of the PML-Q and the PML-N is mentioned in an April 2013 article by the same source:

“GUJRAT: Supporters of the PML-N and the PML-Q traded blows on Monday over the alleged tearing up of Chaudhry Pervez Elahi’s posters. Police said PML-Q traders were pasting Elahi’s posters in Tambal Bazaar. PML-N workers led by Chaudhry Mubashir Hussain tore some of the posters, resulting in a clash between the supporters of the two parties. Following the clash, some PML-Q traders closed their shops.” (Express Tribune, 30 April 2013)

The Pakistani news agency Dispatch News Desk (DND) indicates in an article from early May 2013 that PML-N and PML-Q members clashed in Hasilpur, Punjab province, causing no injuries (DND, 8 May 2013).


A May 2013 article by News International states with reference to an official report that pre-election violence during the 20-day electoral campaign targeted numerous parties, including the PML-Q:

“It was revealed in an official report received by ‘The News’ and presented to the president and prime minister that a heinous series of killings was witnessed during the 20- day electoral campaign. The report said that 81 persons were killed and 437 injured in 119 violent incidents in the 20- day electoral campaign. […] The Awami National Party (ANP), MQM, JI [Jamaat-e-Islami], JUI [Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam], QWP [Qaumi Watan Party], PML-N, PML-Q, PML-F, Jafferia Alliance, BNP [Balochistan National Party], Sunni Tehrik and PTI along with 16 other parties were made target of election violence. […] It was revealed in the report that the ANP and MQM were the most-affected parties with regard to terrorism attacks.” (News International, 10 May 2013)




References: (all links accessed 28 August 2014)

·      ACCORD - Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation: Pakistan - COI Compilation, June 2013 (available at ecoi.net)


·      DND - Dispatch News Desk: Clash between PMLN and PMLQ workers in Hasilpur, Bahawalpur (NA-186); no one injured, 8 May 2013


·      Express Tribune: Poll campaign: PML-N, PML-Q traders exchange blows, 30 April 2013


·      Express Tribune: Election Violence: PML-Q worker shot dead, 2 May 2013


·      Express Tribune: Crying foul: PML-Q’s Sheikh warns Punjab not to use power against political workers, 8 August 2014


·      Frontier Post: Political turmoil, 13 August 2014 (available at Factiva)

·      Nation: Muslim League divided, 30 December 2013


·      News International: Violent 20-day campaign ends, 10 May 2013


·      News International: 51 killed in election day violence...Candidates, cops, others among dozens injured; three explosions rock Karachi; Punjab, KP remain relatively peaceful, 12 May 2013


·      News International: Protest against PML-Q workers’ arrest, 28 June 2014


·      Outlook India: Pak Police Charges Cleric With Murder And Terrorism, 10 August 2014


·      Pakistan Today: PML-Q, PTI injured in Qadri’s name, 23 June 2014