• Says govt’s attempts to attack SC, undermine its powers will be resisted by people
• Elahi says CJP red line of entire nation; insists legislation enacted without consulting opposition ‘has no status’
LAHORE: PTI chief Imran Khan on Wednesday lashed out at the coalition government for allegedly attempting to attack the Supreme Court, undermining its powers and taking the country towards fascism by breaking into the homes of party workers and social media activists.
“Cabal of crooks attempts to attack the Supreme Court of Pakistan as well as undermine its powers is being and will continue to be resisted by the people of Pakistan,” he tweeted on Wednesday.
In an earlier tweet, the former prime minister shared a screenshot of a passage describing how Hitler’s Third Reich “was a police state characterised by arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of political and ideological opponents in concentration camps”.
Mr Khan commented: “We seem to be heading towards a similar state of fascism the way things are happening in Pakistan since last 10 months.”
He said “unknown” people were breaking into homes of PTI workers and social media teams, and “terrorising and even abducting” their family members if the person being sought was not present at the time of the raid.
“Abductions, custodial torture, multiple fake cases, total clampdown on media plus harassment of journalists — this is the State of Pakistan today with no Rule of Law & complete violation of Constitution,” he tweeted.
Later, speaking to a delegation of retired session judges at his Zaman Park residence, the PTI chairman predicted that his party would form the next government with a full mandate and serve the country “without the need of any crutches”.
Insisting that the PTI had never shied away from dialogue, he asserted that the announcement of general elections should be the only agenda of a dialogue.
Judiciary is ‘red line’
Meanwhile, speaking to a delegation of former federal and provincial ministers and MPAs, PTI President Chaudhry Parvez Elahi said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was trying to limit the powers of the chief justice through constitutional amendments, creating a clash between the judiciary and the parliament.
He said a piece of legislation made without consulting the opposition “has no status”.
Mr Sharif also openly expressed anti-judiciary sentiments, Mr Elahi said, adding that all this was happening at the behest of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif.
“The judicial reforms are actually a failed attempt to put pressure on the Supreme Court. The ongoing session was called to bulldoze democracy,” he said.
The former Punjab chief minister said the chief justice of Pakistan was the red line of not only lawyers but the entire nation, which he said would not tolerate any restrictions on the independence of the judiciary.
The government could not impose its unconstitutional rules and regulations on the Supreme Court, he said.
‘Nation stands with SC’
Separately, senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said in a tweet on Wednesday that the entire nation stood with the SC. “We will not be concerned with the affairs of the judges, we will not allow the Supreme Court to be weakened and we will not tolerate any attempt to influence their decisions,” he said.
He asked the judiciary to leave the responsibility of implementing its decisions to the people and they would do it accordingly.
Meanwhile, PTI’s central Punjab president, Dr Yasmin Rashid, said in a statement that the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) “cruel face” had been exposed. She alleged that the Nawaz and Zardari groups had always pressurised judges and got decisions at will.
She accused PDM leaders of blackmailing and operating through the “law of the jungle”, violating basic human rights and abducting citizens. She said the nation was standing behind the country’s judiciary.
She said the current government had made the National Accountability Bureau toothless and was now after the Supreme Court.
Dr Rashid said the PTI had rejected the PDM’s “illegal legislation” to pressurise the judiciary. “Attack on the superior judiciary is tantamount to an attack on Pakistan,” she said.
Published in Dawn, March 30th, 2023
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