ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday urged the “neutrals” – a tacit reference to the establishment – to stand with the people and justice instead of thieves.
“I want to tell my neutrals that this is a problem of Pakistan [hence] it’s imperative for you to stand with people and justice instead of thieves,” he said while addressing the supporters at a rally in Islamabad.He also questioned the conduct of establishment, saying, “Are you really neutral as you told us ‘we are neutral’ when foreign conspiracy was being hatched and you refused to interfere”.
Imran said when they approached the Islamabad police and Adiala jail authorities to inquire as to who was involved in torturing Gill. “They told us that they were receiving orders from the ‘top’.”
Imran also announced that the party would register cases against IG and DIG of Islamabad police and magistrate who granted physical remand of Gill despite the fact that he was subjected to “torture”.
“We are also going to Supreme Court against this brutality as it’s the duty of Supreme Court to uphold rule of law and ensure its implementation,” he added.
Imran said the alleged torture on Gill is a show off power by those who think they are above the law.
The PTI chief also compared the incumbent rulers with ruthless Mongol Emperor Genghis Khan, saying, “He would build tower of skulls to spread fear among people… likewise same is being done today to scare the masses”.
Imran challenged the rulers, saying no matter what intimidation tactics they employ to silence the dissident they would not be able to stop the ‘sea of people’. “Those who will try to stop sea of people will be washed away with it as people want real freedom.”
He also asked the people not to be scared of government’s crackdown on social media, saying this is a defining moment in the country’s history and asked not to bow down to “idol of fear”.
“Dictators enslave people by silencing their voices and put restrictions on media freedom. We all have to fight against this oppression,” he added.
Imran said the objective of spreading terror is to impose “thieves and cabal of crooks” upon the country, who he claimed came to power through ‘foreign conspiracy hatched by US’.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf took out the rally from the federal capital’s Zero Point to F-9 Park in support of incarcerated leader Shahbaz Gill, who the party said subjected to “gruesome torture” in police custody.
Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan led the rally to record protest against “blatant fascism prevalent under imported regime”.
PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan in a tweet had said that Imran will address the protesters and his speech will be live telecast at other rallies being taken out by party leaders in divisional headquarters across the country.
Gill was arrested from Bani Gala Chowk in Islamabad a few days ago after a video clip of his controversial remarks aired on a television channel went viral on social media. He was subsequently booked on charges of inciting mutiny in the military. However, roughly 10 days after his arrest, the PTI chairman and the party leadership adopted an offensive mode with all guns blazing and decided to take to the streets.
After seeing photos and videos showing Gill gasping for air while being taken to the court and hospital, the PTI chairman went to see Gill at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) on Friday evening but was denied permission.
Talking to the media at PIMS, the former PM said that if a political worker can be tortured, one could imagine what an ordinary citizen goes through, adding that such “inhuman treatment” and “torture of a political worker” was unacceptable.
“All the pictures & videos show clearly [Shahbaz] Gill was tortured both mentally & physically incl[uding] sexual abuse – most too gruesome to relate. He was humiliated to break him down,” Imran tweeted while sharing a video of Gill wherein he could be seen pleading for an oxygen mask.
While questioning who tortured Gill, Imran without specifically naming anyone stated that “there is a general perception in the public at large & in our minds too as to who could have carried out the gruesome torture”, warning “remember the public will react”. Subsequently, Imran vowed to leave “no stone unturned to find out those [who are] responsible & bring them to justice.”
Meanwhile, former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday challenged the Returning Officer’s (RO) order before election tribunal of the Lahore High Court, contending that RO rejected his nomination papers from NA-108 (Faisalabad) by “deviating his jurisdiction and violating the constitution”.
Imran Khan, in his petition filed through advocate Anis Ali Hashmi, implored the tribunal saying it is astonishing that RO District Election Commissioner Faisalabad rejected his nomination papers on sole ground that the appellant has disclosed the value of the moveable assets but without furnishing details despite no objector had either raised objection on it or demanded such details.
“The items of furniture, fittings and items of personal use do not require the details of each specifically but the value of such articles of personal use. In no return filed under the Election Act 2017 do the returns mention the number of chairs, tables, beds, TV, perfumes, watches, rings, ties, clothes etc. owned by a person but rather the value thereof.
The appellant has disclosed the value of the furniture, fittings and items of personal use in the statement of assets and liabilities submitted before the ECP in the gazette of Pakistan on March 12, 2019, March 26, 2020, and May 24, 2021, in the same manner by giving value without the specific items and the ECP has been accepting the same,” said the petition.
He submitted that this is also the case in the tax returns of the appellant, adding that the RO has also not understood that the two challans of Rs29,14,500 and Rs1,93,000 although not required were nonetheless submitted by the appellant only to explain the increase in the value of personal assets between June 2021 and June 2022.
He contended that on one hand, the returning officer dismissed the objection that the candidate has concealed the items received by him from Toshakhana by holding that “with regard to the objection of Toshakhana items, the objector could not produce any certified documents” but rejected the nomination papers on an extraneous grounds that “the entry of precious items is dubious and if allowed may provide the candidate a floodgate to skip through scrutiny by the public about their assets”.He said that the rejection of nomination papers on such an assumption is beyond the jurisdiction of the respondent returning officer.
Former PM contended that the objections raised were properly responded through a written reply to those objections. “All the objections raised by the respondents were baseless, fake and without any support or cogent evidence and authenticated documentation but surprisingly the nomination papers of the appellant were rejected by the respondent RO on the ground that has not been specifically agitating or raised by respondents Abid Sher Ali and Mian Muhammad Yousaf in their objection petitions.”
He prayed to the court that the order passed by RO on August 17, 2022, be set aside and further the RO be directed to accept the appellant’s nomination papers for contesting a by-election in the said constituency.