Is it Imran Khan's turn to go to jail after ex-minister Fawad Chaudhry?
Innumerable supporters of Imran Khan and his party - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) - congregated in large number outside his residence at Zaman Park, Lahore, to resist a potential arrest of their leader
Lahore: Is Imran Khan next to be put behind bars? This is not just the question that the world is asking, but his party leaders too fear that the ousted Pakistan prime minister may be put in jail after Fawad Chaudhry, PTI leader and former minister, was arrested on Wednesday.
Innumerable supporters of Imran Khan and his party – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – congregated in large number outside his residence at Zaman Park, Lahore, to resist a potential arrest of their leader.
The supporters and party workers remained camped outside his residence throughout the day and every hour saw crowd swell despite cold weather and a drizzle.
Late on Wednesday, senior PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi issued a fresh call to party supporters and lawmakers in defence of Imran. In his tweet, he urged former PTI lawmakers and supporters to reach Zaman Park at once.
“As Vice Chairman of PTI, I direct all senators, former members of National Assembly, former members of Provincial Assembly, party workers and supporters to reach Zaman Park immediately.
These cowards have to go through everything to reach Chairman Imran Khan,” Mahmood’s tweet in Urdu.
PTI condemns Fawad Chaudhry’s arrest
Fawad Chaudhry, minister in former Pakistan government led by Imran Khan, was arrested by the police in Lahore on Wednesday morning.
Chaudhry was arrested from his residence, shortly after he publically criticised Pakistan government for plotting to arrest Imran Khan.
زمان پارک: رات کے 2:30 بجے ہیں نہ جزبہ کم ہوا نہ نہ جوش نہ جنون- ہزاروں کارکن زمان پارک میں موجود- pic.twitter.com/QWc1CGxgTT
— PTI (@PTIofficial) January 25, 2023
Along with hundreds of PTI workers, Chaudhary had gathered outside Imran's residence in Lahore, claiming to avert the Shehbaz Sharif-led government's alleged plan to arrest him.
Condemning Chaudhary's arrest PTI Sindh president Ali Haider Zaidi said, "Pakistan has become a lawless state."
Talking to media, PTI Punjab Central President Dr Yasmin Rashid condemned the arrest of Chaudhry and asserted that the party leaders, workers and people at large would not remain silent in the face of government’s high-handedness.
“These harsh actions by the incumbent government will not be able to shift PTI’s focus from its demand of free and fair elections,” she said.
Imran Khan demands for justice
In a televised address via video-link on Wednesday, Imran Khan urged judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and Chief Justice of Pakistan for justice.
Imran said he had “sacrificed” his party’s governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa because the country “needed free, fair and credible elections”.
He also urged the judiciary to ensure that general elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa be held within 90 days of the dissolution of assemblies.
میں آج اپنی عدلیہ اور وکلاء برادری سے کہتا ہوں کہ اگر آج آپ انصاف کے لیے نہ کھڑے ہوئے تو ملک کا کوئی مستقبل نہیں ہے۔ عمران خان
— PTI (@PTIofficial) January 25, 2023
“If there is a Constitution and law in this country, the election cannot go beyond 90 days,” he asserted.
Imran also questioned Fawad’s crime and said: “It is a crime to call the election commissioner a munshi (clerk)?”
He also claimed that police have been harassing PTI workers, adding that whatever was happening was being carried out “according to a plan”.
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