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ISLAMABAD: As the local leadership of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is under severe criticism from party workers after it lost its share in seats reserved for women in national and provincial assemblies, party’s chief whip in National Assembly Malik Amir Dogar on Monday said that the decision of PTI-backed winning candidates joining the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) was taken with party founder Imran Khan’s permission.

Talking to journalists here, he said that the decision to join SIC was taken after consultation with Imran Khan and there is no dispute as everything was done with consensus.

“When I went to see Imran Khan in Adiala jail, Ali Muhammad Khan, Barrister Gohar, Latif Khosa were with me and the decision was taken after consensus was developed,” he added.

He continued that the party had two to three options, but the decision to join SIC was taken after consulting Imran Khan as ultimately it was his decision after which they proceeded with joining the SIC.

Meanwhile, PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan termed the unannounced ban on X by the previous caretaker government which is yet to be lifted by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s administration, as “shameful and pathetic”.

He said that PTI fully endorsed Amnesty International’s demand for immediate restoration of social media platform X (formerly Twitter), saying that Pakistan had been made a laughing stock before the world due to the unjustified ban on social media and chain of oppression against its own citizens.

He said that the fake government’s unjustified closure of the internet especially social media websites on a daily basis to conceal facts regarding mandate theft in general elections provided opportunities to the world to ridicule Pakistan.

He said that there existed no law and no constitution in the country for the past 23 months and basic constitutional rights are being openly trampled upon under the feet.

“It is shameful that X has remained blocked in the country for over one month now. We fully endorse 28 civil society organisations’ demand for immediate removal of ban on X and allow free flow of information as should be the case in a democratic country,” he added.

He went on to say that the murder of freedom of expression and press had been the topmost priority of the usurped and anti-constitutional group.

He said that all kinds of coercive and brutal tactics ranging from enforced disappearances to blackmailing their families had been used to target impartial journalists and social media workers.

He lamented that despite all state oppression, efforts were afoot to strangulate the freedom of expression and press to suppress the critical sane voices in order to establish unconstitutional control over the media.

He said that the unelected and undemocratic government of people-rejected PDM-2 continued the shameful series of violations of all fundamental and constitutional rights without any fear of accountability.

He continued that the people’s basic constitutional right of freedom of expression and press was usurped in order to conceal the facts relating to the theft of people’s mandate in the general elections and to impose the rejected characters on the nation once again fraudulently.

Hasan made it clear that the closure of social networking websites by the authorities without any reason or justification was a violation of Article 19 of the Constitution and international laws.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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