Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Friday that he would launch the “Jail Bharo Tehreek” from Wednesday, February 22 to “overcome the fear of jail,” Aaj News reported.
Addressing a press conference via video link, Imran said his party had completed its preparations and that the movement will be launched from Lahore.
“The movement will be gradually expanded to other major cities of the country and fill the jails of the country to the maximum.
He lamented the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) reluctance to announce the date for elections in the Punjab Assembly within 90 days of dissolving it.
“They have been coming up with one excuse after the other that they do not have funds, there is a law and order issue, state institutions are not complying despite orders from the court,” he said, adding that if elections are not held within 90 days, it would create a constitutional crisis.
“If the judiciary can’t get the Constitution implemented, it shows the rule of law has come to an end,” he said.
He also used a new term to describe the government, calling them ‘those who came into power through auction, not election’.
Imran said the ruling coalition came into power through an auction (horse treading), not an election, and doesn’t have the mandate of the public.
He noted that ever since the “imported government” took over, it has raised the prices of almost every item including electricity and gas.
“They [incumbent government] agreed to everything that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was asking for,” he said, adding, “now our incomes have shrunk so we don’t have any money to repay our loans.”
Imran claimed that people who kept their dollars in Pakistani banks are unable to get access to them. This violates the social contract.
“Now who will invest in Pakistan? Overseas Pakistanis who put money in Pakistan are withdrawing them.”
He went on to claim that the government was unwilling to hold elections within the constitutionally stipulated time period of 90 days.
They want to delay the polls to such an extent that they will allow us any time to campaign.
This is what they did in the second phase of the local government polls in Sindh where we got so little time to campaign resulting in low turnout and it allowed them space to engineer the elections.
He claimed that the caretaker chief minister of Punjab was a close associate of Asif Ali Zardari and has been targeting them.
“When the courts ask me why am I not appearing before them, he said that when he was attacked in November, he knew for two months that an attack was being planned and that he had cried hoarse about it but no one listened to me,” he said.