‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’: When will Imran Khan announce decision for arrests?
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf would give the schedule for the Jail Bharo Tehreek – its next step to give arrest to authorities amid the political situation where some of its leaders were put behind bars – after consultation, party leader Imran Ismail said on Saturday.
“We have seen jails in the past as well,” he said while responding to Shaukat Piracha’s queries on the Rubaroo show.
PTI chief Imran Khan in a televised address earlier in the day announced that his party would begin ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ after some of its leaders and allies were arrested. “Instead of thronging the streets, getting violent and ransacking places, we will now fill the jails of the country. This way, the federal government’s new hobby of putting every senior PTI leader in jail will also be fulfilled,” the PTI chief said.
The call comes after the arrests of Shehbaz Gill, Senator Azam Swati, Fawad Chaudhry, and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed. Imran had announced a similar movement in October that was aimed at forcing the government to hold elections but it did not pan out as planned.
He also accused the government of using the recent wave of terrorism to gain political mileage for their benefit after the latter invited the former to the All Parties Conference, scheduled for February 7, to discuss the “important challenges” being faced by Pakistan.
PTI leader Imran Ismail supported his chief’s call by saying that the party has struggled for more than 27 years, giving the impression that they don’t fear being put behind bars.
The former ruling party’s call comes at a critical juncture when the country is facing political, financial, and security challenges which have been exacerbated by the recent wave of terrorism, dissolution of assemblies in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and stalled International Monetary Fund’s funding under the bailout package.
When asked about the PTI’s decision on APC, he questioned the government’s “dubious nature” behind such a call. “On the one hand, you arrest our party leaders and accuse us of misappropriating Rs475 worth of funds and on the other hand you invite us to APC. First, you [the government] should decide what you want to do,” he added.
Ismail, the former Sindh governor, was of the view that sitting with the coalition government was not possible at cost and against their policy. The PTI believes the ruling government was “important”
He took a jibe at the Sindh-ruling PPP government by saying that Sheikh Rasheed was arrested apparently for “insulting” Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
Ismail reiterated that their arch-rivals were afraid of holding early elections, claiming that it was “impossible” to defeat Imran Khan in polls.
Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah had also joined the show to speak on the matter. He advised the PTI top leaders should start their campaign by giving their arrest to the government and they should be kept in Sindh jails.
He added that a case has been registered against Sheikh Rasheed for use of derogatory language, following this the Sindh police went to Islamabad to arrest him.
“He [Sheikh Rashid] has to be brought to Sindh for legal investigation. It is every individual’s right to seek legal recourse when feelings are hurt,” Hussain said.
He added that election for mayors would be held after polls on reserved seats. The PPP had a principled discussion with the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) that mayor would be elected from a party whoever had the numerical majority. “In this sense, the mayor will belong to the PPP and the deputy mayor to the JI,” he said.
But, JI Ayesha Syed expressed hope that the Karachi mayor from be from her party as they have got the mandate.
She advised the Election Commission of Pakistan to organising all elections at one time as holding such events incurs a lot of expense. Holding elections cost around Rs33 billion, she quoted the ECP statistics.
Ayesha lamented the seriousness of the ECP to organise elections and added the rising polarization would end if the commission performs its duty on time.
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