Following recent notices by a police station in Mandi Bahauddin and some traders in Bilal Ganj, Lahore, that went viral for racially profiling Pashtuns, the government of Punjab has responded to the furore and denied that any racial profiling is taking place.
Despite the police station in question and the office of the inspector general of the Punjab police both confirming the directives when contacted, they later denied any such policy.
Mian Iftikhar Hussain of the Awami National Party tweeted @CMShehbaz condemning the profiling and asking him to look into the matter.
Targeting Pashtuns on ethnic grounds will weaken the federation & will have dire consequences. Pashtuns are peace loving & not terrorists.
— Mian Iftikhar Husain (@MianIftikharHus) February 22, 2017
As a result, the chief minister’s office has circulated an image with captions assuring the public that no racial profiling is being done and indirectly accusing the press of spreading misinformation.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has also strongly criticised the racial profiling of Pashtuns by the Punjab government in the name of search operations and other security measures in the province.
“I strongly condemn the racial profiling of Pashtuns in Punjab. This will create hatred and inadvertently play into the hands of terrorists,” he tweeted. According to reports, Imran was referring to current search operation underway in Punjab during which agencies are targeting the Pashtun community in the province.