Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Imran Khan addressing a press conference. — Online Photo by Waseem Khan
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan raised serious questions on Sunday over last week’s jailbreak in Dera Ismail Khan and called for introspection by all institutions of the state.
He said it was high time to determine why in the presence of an army division in and around D.I. Khan, elite force, police and special jail police, the attackers had managed to get hundreds of their accomplices freed.
“Because of the timely intelligence reports, all necessary preparations were made to thwart the attack. There were three security cordons set up around the jail. Machine gunners were also posted at strategic positions, but no body put up a fight,” Mr Khan said while talking to reporters at his party’s central secretariat.
“If nobody on ground is willing to fight then what can the provincial government do in such circumstances,” he said.
Over the past couple of months, Mr Khan has repeatedly demanded a meeting with the army chief and the prime minister before an all-parties conference proposed by the government for coping with terrorism.
Mr Khan said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had initiated a high-level inquiry into the incident and its findings would be shared with the nation.
He reiterated that this was a national issue which needed a corresponding response.
Nobody from the ISPR was available for comments.
Mr Khan said he had told US Secretary of State John Kerry during their recent meeting that since the US drones strikes had killed about 1,500 innocent people so far, whereas only 45 terrorists had been targeted. The strikes were directly affecting efforts of the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to curb militancy.
He reiterated that the federal government and the military establishment had to come clean on ‘hidden facts’ before calling an APC.
Last week, over 100 militants whom the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed to have sent freed 248 prisoners from the D.I. Khan jail. According to media reports the attack lasted three to four hours.
PRICE HIKE: Mr Khan severely criticised the government for steps which have triggered a record price hike.
He said the PML-N, instead of giving any new direction to the government as had been expected from it, had taken the easy route of taxing the already taxed middle and salaried classes instead of improving governance.
This, he said, was just the beginning of the results of the increase in general sales tax and other indirect taxation which the government had imposed in the budget. Soon a new wave of backbreaking inflation will be hitting people as a result of increase in the electricity tariff.
PTI leader Asad Umar, who advises Mr Khan on economic issues, said the government planned to increase the electricity tariff by 30 to 65 per cent for domestic consumers and 25 to 95pc for industries which would have a serious impact on the prices of commodities of everyday use. As a result of the increase in electricity tariff, people would have to bear an additional burden of Rs144 billion, he said.
WHITE PAPER: Mr Khan said the PTI would release on Aug 16 a white paper on rigging in the general elections. The party possesses evidence to show how returning officers rigged the May 11 elections.
He said the PTI had already approached the courts and after issuing the white paper would once again pray to them to order a biometric-based counting of votes in four constituencies.
“If found wrong in my argument for investigation, I will be the first one to offer a public apology for highlighting the issue,” he said.
LIBEL: The PTI chairman said he would file a libel lawsuit against JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman for accusing him in a TV talk show of acting on ‘Zionist agenda’.