Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi on Tuesday accused Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah of using the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to “trace the location” of legislators with the intent to influence them ahead of the chief minister’s election on July 22.
The Supreme Court had on July 1 ruled that a new Punjab chief minister election would take place on July 22 and said incumbent Hamza Shehbaz would remain in office till then as it heard the PTI and the PML-Q’s pleas against Hamza’s election and oath-taking.
Addressing a press conference alongside PTI and PML-Q leaders in Lahore, Elahi, who is himself is a candidate for top slot, said IB Director General Fawad Asadullah “must refrain from such acts as he was monitoring the locations of PML-Q and PTI lawmakers at the behest of Shehbaz Sharif and Sanaullah”.
“It is my warning to the IB head that he must stop doing this.”
He went on to allege that PM Shehbaz had “formed a cell” specifically for the purpose to keep watch on rival MPAs as the chief minister’s election approaches.
“They lost the public trust and now they are resorting to such cheap tactics,” Elahi added.
In response to a question on whether any “other forces” were backing the IB, the PML-Q leader said “only the prime minister is backing it”.
He also claimed that a man associated with the PML-Q who had businesses overseas was also recently picked by the IB from the Lahore airport “for no reason”.
Elahi endorsed as CM nominee by PTI
PTI leader Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed, who was seated next to Elahi, informed reporters that the party had endorsed Elahi as its nominee for the Punjab chief minister.
“A letter has been dispatched to all lawmakers at the directives of party chief Imran Khan and the party members will reach Lahore tonight for a meeting which will be held tomorrow.”
He said Imran will also reach Lahore tomorrow and stay in the provincial capital for the next two days.
He was of the view that PTI had the support of 188 MPAs while the PML-N had 173 to 174 lawmakers, emphasising the gap could never be filled.
Rasheed said free and fair polls were the only solution and warned that the political situation would deteriorate further if any “intervention” was made in the elections.
‘Misuse of police authority won’t be forgiven’
Speaking on the occasion, PML-Q leader Amir Saeed Rawn said it the manner in which the IB was being used was “shocking”.
He said the man detained by the IB from the Lahore airport on June 19 “was forced to give a statement that Parvez Elahi is involved in money laundering”.
Rawn also warned the police to desist from misusing their authority, saying “a list will be prepared after July 22 and no one will be forgiven”.