Sheikh Rashid, Parvez Elahi put their weight behind PTI’s court arrest drive

Published February 19, 2023
The combination photo shows PTI allies Sheikh Rashid and Parvez Elahi. — DawnNewsTV
The combination photo shows PTI allies Sheikh Rashid and Parvez Elahi. — DawnNewsTV

LAHORE: PTI allies Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Chaudhry Parvez Elahi have backed Imran Khan’s court arrest drive (Jail Bharo Tehreek), which Mr Khan plans to launch from Lahore on Wednes­day and then expand to other cities.

Both Mr Ahmed and Mr Elahi announced their support for the movement after holding separate meetings with the PTI chief on Saturday at his Zaman Khan residence.

Talking to the media after meeting Mr Khan, Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid declared he would be the first person to get arrested if the PTI chief wished so. However, he said he would formally announce his court arrest plan on Sunday (today) morning.

“The PTI chief has asked me to return to the workers’ camp outside his residence late in the night and tomorrow morning,” he said.

The former interior minister said Mr Khan had become a voice of the nation and all must stand with him to “save this country from looters and law violators”.

Mr Ahmed warned the rulers that they would be charged with treason under Article 6 if they stretched elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa beyond 90 days. “People are dying of hunger and the only way to support and sustain this country is to go for fresh general elections to bring a people-backed government,” he said.

Reacting to a statement from PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz that the present government was not her government, Mr Ahmed asked, “Whose government is this and who brought it?”

He accused the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) coalition government of stealing electricity worth Rs380 billion and recovering the amount by inflating the power bills of citizens.

Separately, in a meeting with Mr Khan, PML-Q leader Parvez Elahi extended his full support to the PTI’s Jail Bharo Tehreek and accused the PML-N of running an anti-judiciary campaign. Both leaders also discussed the current political situation and matters related to the next general elections, including PML-Q’s role as a PTI ally.

Mr Khan said the rulers were neither acknowledging the Constitution nor accepting courts’ decisions. He said the ruling coalition was afraid of holding general elections and therefore getting fake cases registered against PTI leaders and workers and resorting to vindictive measures.

Six former legislators ready Jail Bharo Tehreek’s focal person, PTI Senator Ejaz Chaudhry said party’s 200 workers, six former MNAs and MPAs, would voluntarily court arrest on Feb 22.

In case the Punjab government would not arrest the volunteers, he said, all workers and leaders would stage a sit-in on The Mall.

He told a presser at PTI’s Punjab office the drive would spread to eight big cities by Feb 28. “No PTI leader and worker, including chairman Imran Khan, is exempt from courting arrest,” he said.

Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2023

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