ISLAMABAD: On a direction of PTI’s founding chairman Imran Khan, party firebrand leader Ad­­­vocate Sher Afzal Mar­wat has been stopped from taking part in political ac­­tivities and asked to reach the capital at the earliest.

Advocate Marwat while talking to Dawn had earlier blamed PTI Information Secretary Raoof Hasan for the situation in which the party was left with no choice but to field independent candidates.

He had also accused Mr Hasan of doing all that at the behest of caretaker minister for privatisation Fawad Hasan Fawad.

According to a party’s notification, seen by Dawn, PTI’s founding chairman Imran Khan has directed central leader Sher Afzal Marwat to immediately stop political activities in Sindh and reach Islamabad.

Party rejects JIT on social media campaign against judiciary

“Raoof Hasan has been continuously speaking against me on electronic media. First time, after his remarks against me, I spoke to Imran Khan. Second time I approached party’s secretary general Omar Ayub and third time I took up the matter within the meeting of the core committee,” he had said.

“However, after realising that no one in the pa­­r­ty was taking action aga­i­nst Mr Hasan, I deci­ded to give my response thro­u­­­gh social media,” he exp­lained after posting a sta­tement on social media.

PTI rejects JIT on campaign against judges

Meanwhile, the PTI has rejected the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) set up to investigate the smear campaign against the judiciary, suggesting that if the JIT was really serious, then action should be taken against the “bad-mouthed” leaders like Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Aimal Wali Khan instead of harassing common people.

The PTI spokesperson said the constitution and democracy guaranteed basic rights of expression, criticism and analysis.

On Tuesday, the caretaker government formed a five-member JIT to “ascertain facts behind a malicious social media campaign” against Supreme Court judges.

The party spokesperson said every citizen had full right to criticise the state and government actions, as well as court decisions, with good intention.

However, it said the caretaker government, “being devoid of constitution and democratic values”, had turned the country into a slaughterhouse of fundamental and constitutional rights.

He alleged the mainstream media and social media were under the worst censorship and extra-constitutional and legal curbs during the past 22 months.

He alleged that the sole purpose of the latest caretaker government tactic was to protect the clearly “unjust” judicial decisions.

He further alleged that preparations were underway under state patronage to hand over power to those who had attacked the courts along with their goons, hurled accusations and insults by displaying their pictures in public meetings, besid­­es threatening judges with dire consequences.

He said that history would continue to analyse the “unjust, flawed and most cruel decision” of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, disenfranchising over 100 million people and depriving them of their political identity.

The PTI spokesperson suggested that the chief justice should give priority to the supremacy of the constitution over the attempts to bulldoze the basic constitutional rights of citizens under his patronage.

He vowed that the nation would keep demanding its basic constitutional rights from the state instead of being intimidated by the “blind use of force and extra-constitutional administrative tactics”.

Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2024

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