Home Latest News Imran Khan Claims SC ‘Ceding Authority’ to ‘Powerful’

Imran Khan Claims SC ‘Ceding Authority’ to ‘Powerful’

PTI chief reiterates call for apex court probe into May 9 riots, accuses government of ‘mistreating women prisoners’

by Staff Report

File photo of PTI chief Imran Khan

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday lamented that the Supreme Court is “ceding authority to the powerful”—a likely reference to the military—as he reiterated calls for a judicial probe into the May 9 riots and alleged “mistreatment” of women prisoners.

Addressing his supporters via video-link from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore, Khan urged the apex court to take suo motu notice of the arrests and alleged harassment of his party workers and leaders, demanding instructions be issued to release all women who had been arrested after the May 9 riots triggered by his arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case. Maintaining that only an independent judicial inquiry could determine the true culprits and punish those responsible, he said it was also necessary to identify those responsible for the deaths of 25 protesters and injuries of “hundreds” more.

Maintaining that around 10,000 PTI workers and leaders had been imprisoned without investigations, he claimed this was a violation of the party’s fundamental rights. Regretting that court rulings were not being complied with, he referred to a Lahore High Court direction for the production of anchor Imran Riaz Khan, demanding contempt proceedings be initiated against the Punjab Inspector General of Police. “The Supreme Court is slowly conceding its power to the powerful,” he claimed, accusing the judiciary of not taking a stand against the violation of fundamental rights. “History will remember that the Supreme Court did not fulfill its responsibility when the fascist government was rolling democracy back,” he claimed.

Discussing the ruling alliance’s alleged attempts to “cripple the PTI through a streak of desertions,” he claimed this would not have any impact on the PTI’s mass appeal. Reiterating a call for “early elections,” he maintained this was the only path out of prevailing political and economic crises. “I am not demanding elections for my power but for the sake of the country,” he claimed. “Let the people of Pakistan make their choice in the next elections. Don’t destroy the country in your efforts to keep Imran Khan away,” he added.

Referring to a late-night press conference of Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Khan claimed it had removed all doubts for him that authorities were “mistreating women” in police custody. “I have heard about rape of PTI women political prisoners,” he alleged, without giving any evidence to support his allegations. Accusing Sanaullah of addressing media to pre-empt women from going public with allegations against police, he added: “Never ever in Pakistan, women have been maltreated as the PDM and Punjab’s caretaker governments are doing,” he said.

Claiming the government was looking for “excuses” to oust the PTI from politics, he alleged “terrorizing” women was part of this effort. “The PDM government wants to depoliticize women and keep this half population away from mainstream politics,” he alleged. “This is a negation of democracy,” he added.

A day earlier, the interior minister claimed the intelligence “agencies had intercepted a conversation hinting at a “plot” to stage both a raid on a PTI leader’s house and the “rape” of a woman. Without sharing any evidence, Sanaullah claimed the objective was to falsely implicate law enforcement agencies in the crime and to subsequently malign the government at an international level.

Caretaker Punjab Information Minister Amir Mir has slammed Khan for spreading “propaganda” about the treatment of women prisoners. “The so-called political party [PTI] is doing venomous propaganda to secure public sympathies,” he claimed, adding that law enforcement agencies had arrested only 32 women of whom 21 had already been released.

The PTI, meanwhile, has called on Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial to initiate an inquiry into the alleged “harassment, maltreatment of political leaders and prisoners, especially women.” In a statement, the party’s spokesperson has claimed Sanaullah’s press conference was a virtual confession of “heinous crimes,” adding it was a “cover-up” of crimes and an “attempt to implicate PTI and its workers.”

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