SWABI/SHANGLA: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leaders on Saturday alleged that the government had adopted a discriminatory policy against PTI in flagrant violation of the Constitution, and asked the authorities to permit the party to run the election campaign without any difficulty.

They made the demand while addressing a workers’ convention held here, which was the first public gathering of PTI after the May 9 riots.

It is to mention here that on late Friday, the district administration had imposed the Section 144 till December 8, banning display of weapons and pillion-riding to maintain law and order and to guard against any breach of law within the territorial limits of Swabi. The order said any person contravening the ban shall be punished under Section 188 of Criminal Procedure Code.

Addressing the convention, PTI senior vice-president Sher Afzal Marwat Advocate said while all other parties were allowed to run the election campaign, hurdles were created for PTI, crippling its campaign.

“The government and the state are oppressing us by using different cruel tactics,” he said. He claimed Pakhtuns had vowed to support PTI and stand by the caravan of Imran Khan.

Mr Marwat alleged that fake cases had been registered against the party leaders and workers, citing the example of former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaider, against whom 17 cases were registered.

The PTI senior vice-president said Tarakai family’s business was destroyed and their homes ransacked, but Shahram Tarakai was standing ‘like a rock’ with Imran Khan.

He said on Saturday there were PTI intra-party elections but the leaders were not allowed to participate in the exercise. He said there was no law in the country, and their leader, Imran Khan was facing unjust confinement.

A heavy contingent of the police was deployed at the Karnal Sher Khan Chowk to keep a vigil on the movement of PTI workers and leaders.

Abdul Karim, former adviser to the chief minister on industry, and various other leaders also spoke on the occasion.

Meanwhile, Alpuri tehsil chairman and PTI leader Waqar Ahmad Khan has demanded of the Election Commission of Pakistan to ensure a level playing field for the upcoming elections and withdraw the ‘unnatural and inappropriate’ delimitation decision.

Addressing a press conference at the Alpuri Press Club in Shangla on Saturday, he alleged that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz workers fearing defeat in elections had asked the ECP to alter the constituencies in the district. He claimed that the ECP decision had made it difficult for the PTI to do well in the elections.

The party’s other leaders were also present on the occasion.

Mr Ahmad alleged that the final delimitation had created uncertainty among the local people and politicians.

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2023

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