Imran calls on volunteers to register for ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’

Published February 6, 2023
Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan addressing the public via a video message on February 6, 2023. — Screengrab
Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan addressing the public via a video message on February 6, 2023. — Screengrab

Ex-prime minister Imran Khan on Monday appealed to PTI workers to register with the party’s district presidents for the ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ (court arrest drive), vowing to launch the movement within a few days.

Imran had announced the movement last week after apparently running out of options to press the PML-N-led government to hold elections in two provinces — Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — and stop it from “political victimisation”.

“Now we have two ways — one to come on roads and go for wheel-jam but it will hurt Pakistan economically. The other is to allow this imported government to have its desire to put us behind bars fulfilled by the ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’,” the PTI chief said in a televised address from his residence in Lahore’s Zaman Park on Saturday.

In a video address released today, Imran said he wanted the PTI district presidents to begin the registration process and called on volunteers to come forward.

“First I want volunteers to register,” he said. “Then I will give a date in a few days on which day we will begin the ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’.”

At the same time, Imran also called on the public to join the movement, saying that it was a “peaceful protest”. “You’re not doing politics […] you are fighting a jihad.”

The PTI chief said the movement would also help to achieve “haqeeqi democracy” (real democracy) where there would be rule of law. He added that only this could help the country out of the current crisis.

During the address, Imran highlighted that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the governors of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had not yet given a date for provincial elections, stating that this was a violation of the Constitution.

“If they exceed the 90-day period [for announcing polls], the Constitution is clear about the imposition of Article 6 against the violators,” he said, adding that the people were looking toward the judiciary for justice.

Imran also offered an explanation for why the PTI had decided to launch the ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’.

“In the entire world, nations are run according to the law,” he said. “The Constitution decides what is legal and illegal.”

The PTI chairman lambasted the “imported” coalition government for making a joke out of the Constitution and the law ever since it came into power.

He said that the government and the police were openly flouting the directives issued by the courts. “The court had ordered the government to hold local government polls in Islamabad [but] they are yet to announce a date.”

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