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Pakistan Print 2023-02-18

IK says ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ to commence on 22nd

Published February 18, 2023
Former Pakistan's prime minister Imran Khan gestures during a press conference in Islamabad on April 23, 2022. (Photo by Farooq NAEEM / AFP) — AFP or licensors
Former Pakistan's prime minister Imran Khan gestures during a press conference in Islamabad on April 23, 2022. (Photo by Farooq NAEEM / AFP) — AFP or licensors

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on Friday announced the launch of ‘jail bharo’ (volunteer arrest) movement from Wednesday (Feb 22) against state oppression and ‘violation’ of rule of law.

“We have completed the preparations and would start the movement from Lahore before expanding it to other major cities of the country. We would fill the jails to the maximum and thus fulfil the wish of government,” the former Prime Minister said while addressing the nation through a video link.

He further said that they were launching the movement for ‘haqeeqi azadi’ (true freedom) and urged the people to overcome their fear of going to jail. “The opponents were still trying to threaten us, but nobody could make us afraid of jails,” he added.

Khan accused the coalition government of trying to delay the elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; “its aim is to give us minimum time for election campaign so that they could manipulate the results. A similar situation was seen during the second phase of the local government polls in Sindh; we had little time for the campaigning, resulting in low turnout and subsequently it gave the government space to engineer the elections,” he added.

He pointed out that they dissolved the provincial assemblies while remaining within the Constitution, but the government has shown no intention of holding fresh elections within 90 days. “After the constitutionally stipulated period, the caretaker government would become illegal and thus it would violate Article 6 of the Constitution,” he added.

He warned that the PTI would not remain silent if the elections were snatched from them, adding that the rulers did not come into power via election but ‘auction’ (referring to horse-trading). “For this reason, I had been saying that the coalition government did not have the mandate and thus they cannot run the country,” he added.

Taking a jibe at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), he said that it was dangerous for the Chief Election Commissioner to show his inability to conduct the elections.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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