ISLAMABAD: After criticising the visit of US Ambassador Donald Blome to Landikotal and Torkham border last week, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Senior Vice President Dr Shireen Mazari on Tuesday said Mr Blome’s meeting with officials of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government and the chief minister was not a big deal.

However, she questioned under which contract US ambassadors visit sensitive areas while no Pakistani diplomat can go to any sensitive area in other countries.

The party, which criticised the meeting of US embassy officials with parliamentarians during its tenure, has been facing criticism over the contradiction in its stances towards the US.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Dr Mazari alleged that the US had conspired to remove the well-performing PTI government through the local collaborators.

Says Washington conspired to remove well-performing PTI govt through local collaborators

She said the American ambassador was holding meetings with the provincial and federal governments. Under which agreement, he was allowed to visit the Pak-Afghan border, she asked.

Lashing out at the government for allegedly torturing party leader Shahbaz Gill, Dr Mazari demanded that sedition cases should also be filed against Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Asif Ali Zardari, Ayaz Sadiq and Khawaja Asif as their statements were more alarming and dangerous.

She alleged that Shehbaz Gill’s body had signs of torture, claiming he was stripped naked and tortured.

She stated that if Mr Gill did anything unlawful, the law should take its course, but first he must be given a chance of fair trial to prove his innocence.

“If someone is accused of contravening law of the land or violating Constitution, he must be given a fair trial to defend himself so court can decide and give justice,” she added.

The PTI leader lamented that it was horrific to first abduct him, register an FIR and then tortured him. Shahbaz Gill’s body showed severe marks of torture, she added.

Talking about the prohibited funding case against the PTI, she said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the chief election commissioner (CEC) were working on a completely biased approach as the Supreme Court and the Islamabad High Court had clear directions to decide all the cases simultaneously.

Coming down hard on the government for increasing petrol prices, she said the government of “thieves” dropped another petrol bomb that would further augment the miseries of the inflation-ridden and pervert-stricken masses. She advised [PML-N leader] Maryam Nawaz to stop staging a drama on petrol prices.

PTI delegation meets Gill in jail

A seven-member parliamentary delegation of the PTI visited Adiala jail on Tuesday and met Dr Shahbaz Gill. They expressed serious concern over alleged police torture on him.

The delegation was led by Senator Dr Shehzad Wasim and comprised senators Saifullah Niazi, Shibli Faraz, Azam Swati, Abdul Qadir, Saifullah Abro and Sardar Gurdeep Singh. The lawmakers would brief the party leadership about the meeting.

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2022

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