LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has said the government is afraid of elections and wants to arrest him or get him disqualified before the upcoming elections as part of an alleged “London Plan”.

He said the incumbent “puppet” government was employing all kinds of tactics to stop his party from running its election campaign.

The PTI chief was speaking to party president Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, who called on him at his Zaman Park residence in the wee hours of Friday. They resolved that no hurdle would be accepted in the way of the Supreme Court’s constitutional order of holding elections in time.

In over an hour-long meeting, both the leaders discussed political situation in the province besides constitutional and legal matters. They condemned the police operation against the party workers outside Zaman Park.

Elahi discusses situation with ex-PM

The PTI chief said the government had gone too far in its “victimisation” tactics. He lauded the party workers, who stood tall against all tactics of the government including use of state force.

Mr Elahi said that tactics being employed by the caretaker Punj­­ab government would not be able to block elections. He said, “The Zaman Park operation was held on personal wishes of PML-N leader.”

He alleged that the caretaker regime in Punjab was violating constitutional, political and human rights of opponents. Mr Elahi urged the superior judiciary to take note of incumbent rulers’ tactics and ensure that the elections are held within the constitutional time frame. He said the rulers had no guts to face the masses and added that Imran Khan’s message had reached every household and the rulers would be defeated with the power of votes.

Later in the day, former Nati­o­nal Assembly Speaker Asad Qai­ser and Senator Zeeshan Khan­z­ada called on Mr Elahi at his residence. They discussed political situation in the country as well as the election scene in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Both Mr Elahi and Mr Qaiser said the Pakhtuns were not terrorists but patriots. They said caretaker information minister Amir Mir had hurt Pakhtuns’ feelings by calling them terrorists and added that such an attitude was not in the interests of the country.

They said the biggest contribution of Imran Khan was to create brotherhood among the people living across the four provinces as well as Gilgit-Baltistan.

The former Punjab chief minister said Imran Khan had always resp­ected law and the judiciary, while the “incompetent” rulers were damaging democracy and desecrating the Constitution of Pakistan.

“The cases against Imran Khan were registered on the whims of the PML-N,” he said and added that Nawaz Sharif was running a malicious campaign against the judiciary and Mr Khan while absconding from Pakistan.

He said that people across the world were protesting against the victimisation of Mr Khan.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2023

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