Rana Sanaullah ‘welcomes’ Imran as PTI leaders confirm return to Bani Gala for core commitee meeting

Published June 5, 2022
PTI Chairman Imran Khan (L) and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah — DawnNewsTV
PTI Chairman Imran Khan (L) and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah — DawnNewsTV

As members of the former PTI government confirmed Imran Khan's plans to return to Islamabad for a core committee meeting, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Sunday 'welcomed' him, saying the police personnel protecting the former prime minister would arrest him "with great enthusiasm" once his pre-arrest bail expires.

Former interior minister Sheikh Rasheed told Dawn.com that the former prime minister was planning to chair the core committee meeting at Bani Gala. Another aide, Shahbaz Gill told reporters outside Bani Gala that Imran was on his way and that the meeting would be held shortly.

Former information minister Fawad Chaudhry, said in a tweet that members of the core committee had begun arriving at Bani Gala.

The PTI chief had remained in Peshawar instead of his Bani Gala residence ever since he began his party's 'Haqeeqi Azadi March' on May 25, in which police clashed with party workers amid reports of sporadic violence. Imran returned to Peshawar since the march abruptly ended the following day.

The day the marchers disbanded, Imran and other top PTI leaders were booked in a number of cases at multiple police stations across Islamabad over allegations of arson and vandalism. He received pre-arrest bail until June 25 from the Peshawar High Court, which instructed him to appear before the Islamabad sessions court before the expiry of his pre-arrest bail.

Late Saturday night, the Islamabad Police said that in the view of Imran's "expected arrival", security around Bani Gala has been strengthened and placed on high alert. But they said nothing official had been announced with regard to Imran's return.

"However, until now Islamabad Police has not received any confirmed news of return from Imran Khan's team," the Islamabad police tweeted.

"Security Division has deployed dedicated security in Bani Gala. List of people in Bani Gala not provided yet to Police. Section 144 is imposed in Islamabad and any congregation is not allowed as per orders of District Magistrate," it further stated.

The police added that Imran would be provided complete security as per the law and "reciprocal cooperation is expected from security teams of Imran Khan as well".

Meanwhile, there were media reports that the PTI's core committee meeting would be held at Bani Gala. Former interior minister Sheikh Rashid confirmed to Dawn.com that the former prime minister is planning to chair the meeting.

Addressing Imran's possible return, Sanaullah "welcomed" him and said as per the law, he was being provided security. However, he said that "same security" would arrest the PTI chairman with "great enthusiasm" as soon as his pre-arrest bail expires.

"Imran Niazi has been named in more than two dozen cases registered across the country under charges of rioting, sedition, spreading chaos and armed attacks on the federation," he tweeted.

"A person who spreads chaos in the country on a daily basis, who has complete disregard for moral and democratic values and who sometimes calls his opponents traitors and Yazidis... how can he be the head of a political party in a democratic society?" the minister went on, adding that this was the "moment of reflection" for the nation.

Later, PTI leader Shahbaz Gill told journalists outside Bani Gala that the party had arranged its own security for Imran given the statements passed by Rana Sanaullah.

"The entire nation is standing with Imran Khan. They will protect Imran Khan and Imran Khan will protect them," he said. Referring to talk of the PTI chief's arrest, Gill added that the party would reply in due time. "The entire nation will respond then."

Workers outside Bani Gala

Meanwhile, ahead of Imran's arrival, a number of PTI supporters gathered outside Bani Gala.

In response to a question, one of them said that they were members of the Insaf Students' Federation and were unarmed.

Another supporter said that the party will announce a "plan of action" once and if Sanaullah orders Imran's arrest.

The supporters refused to provide any details on the number of party workers present inside.

Another supporter said that the party will announce a "plan of action" once and if Sanaullah orders Imran's arrest.

Agenda

Fawad Chaudhry said in a tweet that the participants will review the political and economic situation in the country and decide what should be done in the coming days.

Dawn.com was able to confirm that leaders will deliberate on matters concerning to the security of the former prime minister and his Bani Gala residence as well.

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