PTI leaders in Multan ‘shy away’ from arrests

Published February 26, 2023
PTI supporters and worker converge in Multan on Saturday to court arrests. — PTI/Twitter
PTI supporters and worker converge in Multan on Saturday to court arrests. — PTI/Twitter

• Pindi police shift detained party leaders, workers to prisons in Shahpur and Hafizabad
• Fawad says PTI to launch ‘nationwide campaign to save’ institution if ‘blackmail’ continues

LAHORE / RAWALPINDI: After holding a photo session inside prison vans and raising slogans against the government, leaders and supporters of the PTI in Multan dispersed and went back home without courting arrest.

After demonstrations in Lahore, Peshawar, and Rawalpindi, the ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ announced by PTI chief Imran Khan earlier this week was launched in the southern part of Punjab on the fourth day of the movement.

Some leaders and workers gathered at Nawan Sheher Chowk to ‘court arrest’ but they left after sloganeering even though the police had brought three prison vans for the volunteers. However, the PTI supporters used the opportunity only to take photos inside these vans.

A PTI leader, Amir Dogar, claimed the police had parked vans a kilometre from the site of the protest. He said they were willing to court arrest and “may come again in a day or two if the PTI chief asked them to turn themselves in”.

Meanwhile, PTI leaders and workers who were taken into custody by the Rawalpindi police on Friday were moved to district jails in Shahpur and Hafizabad.

Zulfi Bukhari, Sadaqat Abbasi, Fayazul Hassan Chohan, Ijaz Khan Jazi, Latafat Abbasi, and Chaudhry Sajid were sent to Shahpur in a prison van on Friday after midnight, whereas other supporters, including Raja Khurram Zaman, were shifted to the district jail in Hafizabad amid tight security.

‘Campaign to save judiciary’

Speaking to media persons in Lahore after a hearing at the high court, PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said that the Supreme Court was the guardian of the Constitution as he vowed to launch a nationwide campaign to “save” the institution in the case the criticism against judges continued.

In a reference to recent criticism of the judiciary by the PML-N, the PTI senior vice president claimed that a political party, “which had been involved in a physical attack on the apex institution, is maligning it yet again for political reasons”. The ruling party must realise that it was weakening the state by “berating national institutions”. “Only strong institutions can ensure the survival of the state,” Mr Chaudhry said, adding that if this “blackmail” continued, the PTI would launch a “nationwide campaign to save them”.

Speaking about the court arrest movement, he said that over 200 workers of the party “have been incarcerated and the leadership has already rej­ec­ted the offer to release them”. “We want the judiciary to take note of their rights as political prisoners,” he added.

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

KP’s ‘power struggle’
Updated 21 Jun, 2024

KP’s ‘power struggle’

Instead of emboldening protesters, CM Gandapur should encourage his provincial subjects to clear their due bills and ensure theft is minimised.
Journalist’s murder
21 Jun, 2024

Journalist’s murder

ANOTHER name has been added to the list of journalists murdered in Pakistan. On Tuesday, Khalil Jibran’s vehicle...
A leaner government?
21 Jun, 2024

A leaner government?

FINANCE Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb has reiterated his government’s ‘commitment’ to shutting down ministries...
Kindness needed
Updated 20 Jun, 2024

Kindness needed

This year’s World Refugee Day theme — solidarity with refugees — includes keeping our borders accessible and addressing the hurdles they face.
Fitch’s budget note
20 Jun, 2024

Fitch’s budget note

PAKISTAN’S ongoing economic crisis is multifaceted. At one end, the government must pursue stabilisation policies...
Cruelty to animals
20 Jun, 2024

Cruelty to animals

TWO recent incidents illustrate the immense cruelty many in this country subject voiceless animals to. In the first...