PTI Chairman Imran Khan said on Wednesday that the “reign of terror” in the country was not controlled by “puppets” in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), but by “another force”.

The former prime minister made these remarks in a series of tweets, wherein he recounted the arrests of several workers and leaders of his party in recent days.

“The way we have descended into becoming a banana republic where there is no rule of law and only law of the jungle, it is clear that this reign of terror is not controlled by PDM puppets, but by another force that sees itself totally above the law,” he said.

Imran further alleged, “Our people are abducted and afterwards sham FIRs (first information reports) are registered. As bail in one FIR is granted, another FIR pops up.

“I have over 145 FIRs against me. It’s a circus of FIRs.”

The PTI chief said those “abducted” in recent days included PTI leaders Azhar Mashwani and Amin Ali Gandapur.

Mashwani, former focal person for digital media in Punjab, was picked up on March 23, and Imran had accused authorities of abducting him at the time. He was picked up apparently on charges of criticising the Punjab police and the caretaker government for allegedly using high-handed tactics against party workers.

An FIR of his disappearance — registered on court directives two days after the incident — said he had gone missing from outside his house when he was going to Zaman Park in a cab. His brother claimed in the complaint that
some unidentified people had kidnapped Mashwani and taken him to an undisclosed location.

Mashwani had returned home eight days after going missing following the Lahore High Court’s directives for his recovery to the Federal Investigation Agency.

More recently, former federal minister Gandapur was arrested outside the building of Peshawar High Court’s Dera Ismail Khan bench on April 6.

The FIR registered against him at the Golra police station stated that in a leaked audio clip he could purportedly be heard using derogatory language against the federal coalition and hurling threats on government officials besides inciting the public against the government.

On Tuesday, a local court in Islamabad granted bail to Gandapur in the audio leak case, however, he remains in police custody in other cases.

Referring to the matter, Imran said, “Ali Amin got bail in one sham case, and another FIR popped up and now another one with police taking him to Lahore.

“Despite his falling ill on the way and being taken to hospital, he was removed from the hospital before he had stabilised. Now total fascism prevails.”

Imran claimed that the caretaker of his Bani Gala residence in Islamabad, cook at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore and his security in-charge had also been “abducted”.

“All abducted and tortured to try and update their software,” he alleged.

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