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LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan Saturday said the vile propaganda campaign against the judiciary, especially the judges, was shameful; “the PML-N has a history of assaulting the judiciary and it started the bad practice of buying judges.”

The former Prime Minister expressed these views while talking to columnists and senior writers at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore.

He claimed that efforts were being made to pressurise the judges through illegal phone tapping and thus preventing them from playing a role in the supremacy of the Constitution. “The judiciary was the nation’s only hope and hence they should make the Constitution and law supreme without taking any pressure,” he added.

He alleged that the Chief Election Commissioner was supporting the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in violating the Constitution, adding that attempts were being to frighten their allies through political victimisation and hence the incumbent rulers were promoting political dictatorship in the country. “We will stop this shameful series of lawlessness, violation of democratic values and economic destruction with the support of the nation,” he added.

“It was impossible to achieve stability in Pakistan without establishing the rule of law in the country and economic stability could not be achieved without political stability,” he said, adding that fundamental rights were being flouted to enslave the nation.

Imran Khan announces Jail Bharo Tehreek from February 22

He reiterated that former army chief General (R) Qamar Javed Bajwa admitted that he changed the government and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was under his influence; “hence, he violated his oath”.

“Bajwa told me that since the US was not happy (with Pakistan) he made the statement, which contradicted the government’s policy on the Russia-Ukraine conflict. We should have remained neutral on the issue of Ukraine,” he added.

The PTI chief further claimed that the retired General also admitted that he made the recordings of phone calls, which was an illegal act; “hence, the military should hold an inquiry into this”.

Talking about the finance bill 2023, he commended President Arif Alvi for not signing the ordinance and warned that new taxes would unleash a new wage of inflation in the country.

While highlighting the economic achievements of his government, he castigated the incumbent government for the economic meltdown and for bringing the country to the brink of default. “The devaluation of the rupee was hurting every sector while inflation has become a big problem for the people. And, this imported government’s only achievement was closing corruption cases,” he added.

Talking about his injuries sustained during the assassination attempt, he revealed that his doctor has advised him against walking and yet he was summoned to courts several times.

He reiterated that snap polls were the only way to pull the country out of the prevailing crisis and thus the PTI sacrificed its two governments to hold early elections. “Article 105 states that when the assemblies are dissolved, elections must be held within 90 days. However, the coalition rulers making efforts to delay the elections till they feel that the PTI was weak,” he added.

He also accused the caretaker governments of being against him and his party; “our leaders and workers were being prosecuted and arrested without warrants”.

Khan maintained that he would not accept the imported government’s fascism and would not allow anyone to abuse the Constitution. “Hence, I had announced the ‘jail bharo’ (volunteer arrest) movement for ‘haqeeqi azadi’ (true freedom). Instead of going on the path of anarchy, we have adopted a democratic method to resist oppression while staying within the law,” he added.

Meanwhile, in his tweet, the PTI Chairman condemned the terrorist attack on Karachi Police Office and castigated the coalition government for the recent wage of terrorism in the country. He said that once again brave policemen were targeted. He held the government responsible for the attack; “the sudden spike in terrorism, especially amid urban centres, reflects a failure of intelligence and the State’s lack of a clear proactive anti-terrorism policy”.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi called on the PTI chief at his Zaman Park residence, disclosed sources. During the meeting, both the leaders discussed the country’s prevailing political situation and the ‘jail bharo’ movement.

The PTI Chairman told Elahi that the PML-N’s top brass was continuously attacking the judiciary in their speeches, adding that instead of following the Lahore High Court orders they only focused on ‘political victimisation’ against PTI’s leaders and workers.

While announcing his support for the movement, the PML-Q leader castigated the coalition government for not announcing a date for the elections (in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and not following the Lahore High Court (LHC) orders. He said that the incumbent rulers were afraid of Khan’s popularity, adding that they are damaging the sanctity of the Constitution. “Khan was the only hope for the masses, which were being crushed by soaring inflation,” he added.

Later, All Muslim League head and former Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed also held a meeting with the PTI Chairman and deliberated on the prevailing political situation.

While talking to the media outside the PTI chief’s residence, Sheikh said that whoever delays the beyond 90 days would be a traitor; “Article 6 would apply and hence immediate elections should be held in the country”.

H averred that PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz was like a daughter to him and thus it would be inappropriate to comment on her. However, he did say that Maryam claimed that this was not her government; then she should tell the nation whose government it was. “Maryam should tell the nation who was running the government and how it came,” he added.

He averred that Khan was the voice of the nation and the people had to stand with him.

On a lighter note, he told the media that Khan gave him a cigar box as a gift after his release from jail. “Probably, he gave a cigar box to someone for the first time in his life,” he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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Syed Arif Hussain Zahidi Feb 19, 2023 03:04pm
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