Manhandling of Imran condemned

15 Nov 2007

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LAHORE, Nov 14: Condemning the arrest of Imran Khan and holding the Islami Jamiat Tulaba and the Jamaat-i-Islami responsible for it, the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf announced here on Wednesday that it would hold a demonstration near the Punjab University on Thursday (today) and observe a black day on Friday (tomorrow).

The announcement was made by PTI secretary-general Shahid Zulfikar and others at a news conference here at the Lahore Press Club.

They said Mr Khan was safe and sound in police custody and had given a message that he merely wanted to activate a students’ movement against the government.

They said Imran Khan had gone to the university without any political motive. That was why there was no political worker or flag in the campus.

They alleged that the IJT activists exploded firecrackers and resorted to firing to scare students. The activists took Mr Khan to a nearby building in league with plainclothesmen before he could realise what was happening, they alleged.

They said the wagon which took Mr Khan towards police had a green number plate.

PUASA: Punjab University Academic Staff Association (PUASA) president Dr Mumtaz Salik has condemned manhandling of PTI chief Imran Khan.

Talking to Dawn on Wednesday, Dr Salik said the university teachers, employees and students considered him a national leader and lauded his struggle for the restoration of the Constitution and democracy in the country. He said Mr Khan like any other political leader had full right to come to the university.

Answering a question, he said, no teacher had thrashed or manhandled Imran Khan on the campus. He said Mr Khan was sitting in the director’s office of the Centre for High Energy Physics and he had himself requested to provide him transport to go outside the university.

Saying that no teachers’ organisation had any contact with Imran Khan about his visit to the university, he added that the PTI chief also admitted that he committed mistake by coming to the PU without consulting any student or teachers’ organisation in the university.

TANZEEM-I-ASATZA: The Punjab University Tanzeem-i-Asatza has strongly condemned the activists of a students organisation for thrashing and manhandling Imran Khan on the university campus.

Talking to this reporter, Tanzeem-i-Asatza president Prof Dr Niaz Ahmad and secretary-general Dr Mumtaz Anwar said the students’ unruly attitude during Mr Khan’s visit to PU would damage the national movement against the imposition of emergency in the country.

PML-N: The PML-N has condemned the Jamaat-i-Islami’s student wing for manhandling Imran Khan and later handing him over to police.

Both the Jamaat-i-Islami and the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf are components of the All Parties Democratic Alliance (APDM), led by the PML-N.

“It’s the most shameful act on the part of the Jamiat,” said PML-N information secretary Ahsan Iqbal in a statement on Wednesday.

Asked if any action would be initiated against the Jamaat from the platform of APDM for damaging its cause of launching a joint struggle against army dictatorship, he said the issue might be raised by the Tehrik itself whenever the APDM would meet.

He, however, said that despite serious nature of the incident the PML-N would not like expulsion of any constituent from the APDM and rather would try to assemble maximum parties on one-point agenda — restoration of the Constitution and independence of judiciary.

Answering a question, he said the APDM meeting was likely to be held next week. “Due to large-scale arrests of opposition leaders we are facing problems in convening the meeting for chalking out a joint course of action. Despite all odds, it is likely to be held in three to four days.”