‘No democracy, basic rights in country’: Judiciary would have to take a stand: Imran

Our Correspondent
Monday, May 29, 2023

LAHORE/ FAISALABAD: Former premier and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan said on Sunday it was his appeal to the superior judiciary that it would have to take a stand, as people were being deprived of their basic rights, and there was no democracy in the country anymore.

In his address on Sunday, Imran said, “Today, I on behalf of the nation and Pakistan’s biggest party appeal to the 15 judges of the Supreme Court that the entire country is looking towards you. History will remember your role.

“Till now it seems you are slowly conceding your power and losing your freedom against the powerful. It doesn’t seem to us you are capable of taking a stand against the powerful.”

Imran asked the Supreme Court judges to “take a stand otherwise history will remember” that the apex court judges did not perform their duty to stand with the nation when there was a “fascist government rolling back democracy”.

He said the court verdicts were not being implemented. Elections were not being conducted in 90 days, and people were being sent to jail even after getting bail.

“That is why I’m respectfully appealing to you” to take notice of the alleged treatment of female PTI workers and supporters, Imran said, adding that suo motu notice should be taken on the matter to get the women released.

The PTI chairman said he had condemned the May 9 violence and the attack on the corps commander’s house in Lahore when the chief justice had asked him about it on the first day of his appearance in the Supreme Court after his arrest. He said a judicial inquiry should be conducted to ascertain who was actually behind the violence and arson attacks. Action should be taken against those who had burnt the corps commander’s house. “It is the job of the courts to carry out an investigation and find out the culprits. We will fully help you. I will tell you to punish those who were responsible.”

Imran voiced serious concern over the alleged maltreatment being meted out to women activists of his party in detention. He said that with the late-night press conference of Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, it had become evident how women prisoners were being treated in detention. He said the PTI had received reports of inhuman treatment being meted out to them, adding the rulers were in fear of being exposed by the victims after they would get out of jail.

It seemed, he said, something had been committed by the rulers they were unable to handle. Imran Khan said police raided the houses of the PTI supporters, breached their privacy and took women with them too as prisoners. All this was done to spread fear and to keep women away from politics.

Separately, the PTI chairman took to his Twitter handle to call out Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah for trying to “cover-up” the ill-treatment of party workers, especially women, currently under custody.

Sanaullah, in a post-midnight presser on Saturday, claimed that the intelligence agencies had intercepted a conversation indicating that the PTI was planning two separate actions, which he termed “dramas”.

Without offering further details, the minister said the intercept revealed the Khan-led party was planning some action at a specific residence, without offering any further details. He also claimed the intercepted conversations indicated that a “rape act” would be committed and blamed on law enforcers.

Reacting to his presser, the former premier said Sanaullah is “so obviously trying to cover up and pre-empt the horror stories about to break in the media.

“If there were any doubts about women being mistreated in jails, this press conference from this certified criminal should remove all such doubts,” he wrote on Twitter. Imran lamented that women had never been so mistreated and “harassed by the state as they have been by this fascist govt” when they were exercising their right to protest peacefully.

In his message to the government, Imran asked them to break away as many party members for the next three to four weeks but announce elections afterwards. “Give yourself time. If you want to take two or three weeks, then break away as many people as you want. At the rate you’re going, you have already broken many and many more will break… but it is my request to give a timeframe because the country is heading towards destruction.

“The economy is sinking… so give yourself a timeframe of two to three weeks but then announce elections when you think you’ve broken away enough people from the PTI that it’s no longer able of contesting elections.”

In a related development, PTI Central Information Secretary Rauf Hassan said that Rana Sanaullah’s midnight presser was a virtual confession of the government’s heinous crimes.

“It was a confession of heinous crimes which the criminal government was committing on political internees, most notably female prisoners,” he said in a statement issued here. He also urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) to immediately initiate a high-level inquiry into the heinous crimes.

Rauf said that after Sanaullah’s last night news conference, credible doubts have been cast on the welfare of political internees, particularly women. He added that the presser was a virtual confession of heinous crimes which the ‘criminal government’ is committing on political internees, most notably female prisoners. “His (interior minister’s) presser was a cover-up for crimes of this criminal gang. One lives in dread of times when facts will come out,” Rauf contended.

The PTI information secretary urged the CJP to immediately initiate a high-level enquiry to look into how political prisoners, especially women were being treated in the prisons across the country and how raids were being conducted on residences of PTI leaders and workers in utter violation of law and principles of the sanctity of homes.

He said that it should be investigated as to how families of PTI leaders and workers were being harassed, threatened and deprived of their basic constitutional rights without any legal and judicial proceedings. “The matter has assumed immense importance after the presser as it is believed that it is a crude cover-up of their crimes and an attempt to implicate PTI and its workers,” he maintained.

On the other hand, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan said on Sunday Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has hatched another conspiracy, which was detected on time by the intelligence agencies. “Under this conspiracy, they had planned to attack the house of a known PTI worker, and kill innocent people there, so that they could put its blame on the government and agencies. We immediately informed the people concerned, as it was a ripe strategy that could be exercised at any time,” he said.

Addressing a rally at Zila Council Chowk here, which was taken out from his public secretariat near Chak No 65-JB bypass in connection with Youm-e-Takbeer and Takreem-e-Shuhda-e-Pakistan, the minister said the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was the first defence line of Pakistan and it had played a key role in the war against terror. “The PTI activists attacked the ISI office and threw stones on it. They were also hell bent upon putting it on fire but could not succeed in their vicious designs.”

He said: “Imran Khan exploited innocence of people and fooled them with false accusations against his political opponents.”

The minister said Imran Khan had cultivated seeds of hatred in the nation due to which the nation had to face a tragedy on May 9. He misguided the youth, who followed him blindly and vandalised the Jinnah House Lahore. “They first looted and plundered the household items and then put it on fire. They also damaged the sensitive military installations. It was not only a corps commander’s house, but also his camp office, where sensitive information was present. It is now the responsibility of Pak Army to recover those sensitive items by bringing the culprits to book.”

He said the miscreants tried to weaken the national defence and they could be compared with Kalbhushan, who trespassed our territory. They must be nabbed and their cases should be sent to the military courts, he added.

The minister said that only those individuals would be granted forgiveness whose crime was less serious in nature. He said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had issued clear instructions that no innocent people should be implicated and no criminal arsonist should be allowed to go scot free. He said that Imran Khan was reluctant to condemn the May 9 incident and now he was expecting from the government to negotiate with him.

“We openly condemn this incident and support the families of martyrs and Ghazis who had devoted their lives to defend the geographical and ideological boundaries of Pakistan. If we accept the offer of negotiations with a terrorist, how we can face families of martyrs,” he added.

“The PTI activists showed disrespect to the monuments of these Jawans who had laid down their lives for the country. How we could negotiate with them,” he asked.

He said Imran Khan hatched a conspiracy to divide the Pak Army during the appointment of army chief, but it was foiled by the maturity of army high command. “If he had succeeded, it was tantamount to fulfilling aspirations of the enemies of Pakistan.” He announced his rally would go to the Chenab Club Chowk and present a bouquet to ISI officials, who faced the blatant attack with full patience.

He also paid tribute to the untiring efforts of Pakistani scientists and their teams and said that the PMLN had made defence of the country invincible by conducting atomic explosions 25 years ago, on May 28, 1998, and now every Pakistani was proud of it.