Home Latest News Imran Khan Accuses Punjab Government of Hampering Election Campaign

Imran Khan Accuses Punjab Government of Hampering Election Campaign

PTI chief says his party will share ‘evidence’ of violence against its workers with EU, UNHRC

by Staff Report

File photo of PTI chief Imran Khan

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday accused the Punjab caretaker government of hampering campaigning ahead of elections due on April 30, claiming that it is trying to “sabotage” a planned rally at Minar-e-Pakistan that is to be held on Wednesday (March 22).

In a televised address delivered via video-link from his Zaman Park residence, he maintained that the planned rally would be a “referendum” against the incumbent government, adding that authorities were delaying “permission” for it in a bid to damage the PTI’s campaign efforts. While Khan vowed to proceed with the rally, sources within the PTI have suggested the party might delay it to ensure it has sufficient time for canvassing and erecting a stage at the venue for the event. Reiterating his call for “free and fair elections” to achieve political stability, he said this was a prerequisite for economic stability and societal cohesion.

During his address, the ousted prime minister also accused the government of trying to sow divisions between the Pakistan Army and the PTI. “The rulers are trying to mislead the Army against PTI,” he claimed. “The Army and this country belong to us as we will live here, but the incumbent corrupt rulers will run away as their wealth in dollars is stashed abroad,” he alleged.

Accusing the incumbent government of wanting to “kill” him, he alleged that a “trap” had been laid for him at the Islamabad Judicial Complex when he was set to attend a hearing on the Toshakhana reference. Urging the Chief Justice of Pakistan to investigate who the “plainclothesmen” men were that the police alleged allowed entry into the complex, he said a PTI worker had discouraged him from exiting his car. He also accused police of pelting stones and bricks at his party workers and supporters to create chaos and arrest him during the distraction. He did not make any mention of the police claims of PTI workers firing tear-gas shells at them, or burning police vehicles and vandalizing public property.

Reiterating a call to be allowed to attend court proceedings via video-link, he urged the CJP to take notice of “human rights violations” against his party, alleging that police were raiding party leaders’ homes, harassing residents, picking up children, and ransacking belongings. Claiming the incumbent rulers were trying to “eliminate” to avoid losing elections, he also reiterated accusations of former Army chief Gen. (retd.) Qamar Javed Bajwa “ruining Pakistan” worse than any enemy.

Claiming that he had more than 100 FIRs registered against him, the PTI chief alleged that Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz—an unelected individual with no authority—was “dictating” authorities on how to deal with him. He said his party would soon share “evidence” of the government’s human rights violations with international human rights organizations, including the UNHRC, and the European Union. He also urged supporters abroad to share the claims with all forums in their respective countries.

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