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Pakistan

Imran announces 'suspension of Jail Bharo movement' after SC verdict

  • PTI chief welcomes top court's judgement, says party will move forward with election campaign in both provinces
Published March 1, 2023

Hailing the Supreme Court’s (SC) 3-2 verdict that elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa must be held within 90 days, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Wednesday the party’s ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ will be suspended.

Following the verdict, Imran took to his Twitter handle and wrote, “it was responsibility of SC to uphold Constitution & they have valiantly done that through their judgement today.”

He said that the party is suspending its ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ and moving forward with election campaigns in KP and Punjab.

In its ruling earlier today, the country’s top court observed that the KP governor was in breach of his constitutional duty and should announce the date for elections. The bench directed the KP governor to appoint a date for elections in the province after consulting the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

For Punjab, the SC directed President Dr Arif Alvi to consult with the ECP and try to hold elections in the province in 90 days.

Punjab, KPK polls: Supreme Court orders elections in 90 days

Meanwhile, PTI leader and former human rights minister Shireen Mazari termed the top court’s verdict a “victory for PTI’s position”.

She said the apex court found the KP government to be breaching the Constitution and upheld it.

“The Constitution won. Parliamentary democracy won. The president will announce the Punjab election date and has bound the KP governor to immediately announce the election date,” PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry tweeted.

PTI leader Faisal Javed Khan also welcomed the verdict, and said, “No one can defeat a country that has such a nation and a leader like Imran Khan.”

Former deputy speaker Asad Qaiser termed the verdict “historic” and directed the PTI workers to prepare for the elections.

Former KP chief minister Mahmood Khan congratulated the nation on the “supremacy of the Constitution and the SC’s constitutional decision”.

Other party leaders also welcomed the SC’s verdict.

Background

Last year, PTI chief Imran Khan had announced that his governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would dissolve their assemblies to pave the way for fresh elections. This was eventually achieved last month.

On February 17, Imran then announced the ‘Jail Bharo’ movement to press the coalition government to hold elections in Punjab and KP.

“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.

The movement kicked off last week from Lahore where core leadership from Punjab, including Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Senator Azam Khan Swati, and Omar Sarfaraz Cheema gave court arrests.

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