Pakistan: M’lords vs Mafia


Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday urged the judiciary to protect the fundamental rights of party members and citizens of Pakistan, asking the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Umar Ata Bandial to “draw a line” somewhere, a private TV channel reported.

“People should have confidence that judiciary will protect them,” he said during a press conference flanked by PTI leader Usman Dar and a watchman in education department named Javed Ali. “There is an attack [being launched] on the judiciary by this mafia. These are not politicians but a mafia which makes tapes of judges and do every kind of blackmailing,” he said, referring to Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz’s recent criticism of the judiciary. “Interior minister is running an tape of a judge. Maryam runs tapes too. Saqib Nisar’s tape was also leaked. What kind of politicians does that,” he questioned.

Imran Khan alleged that the Punjab caretaker government had tortured a watchman to force him into giving a statement against party leader Usman Dar in a corruption case. “Javed Ali is only one man who has come to the front. They have tried with so many people to give [forced] confessions against our senior leaders or ministers ever since our government fell,” Imran said.

The PTI chief said Dar had got Ali employed as a watchman in Sialkot. “He was picked up by the police …” he added, before telling Ali to narrate his alleged ordeal. “This whole statement under [section] 164 [of the Criminal Procedure Code] that was forced from him was to trap Usman Dar and incriminate him in corruption cases. “After bringing his wife and children to a nearby room, they said they would strip her, photograph her and put them up on Facebook,” the former prime minister said.

Addressing the chief justice of Pakistan, Imran asked, “Who will protect our fundamental rights?” He referred to the alleged treatment meted out to PTI leaders Shahbaz Gill and Azam Swati under custody, adding that Gill was told to give a statement against the PTI chief – noting that it was the same as the situation between Ali and Dar.

The PTI chairman said he had asked other people, as he asked Ali, to come forward and narrate their ordeals of alleged abductions and custodial torture. Imran said that Ali was also threatened to not share his ordeal with anyone or he would be killed.

Imran called on the chief justice to take suo motu notice on Ali’s ordeal. “A watchman was picked up and he was treated in such a manner to give evidence against him (Dar) … so they could tarnish PTI’s Sialkot district president and somehow disqualify him or embroil him in anti-corruption [proceedings]. This is the Punjab caretaker government … a neutral caretaker [chief minister] is committing these actions? This is happening under the neutral caretaker [chief minister],” Imran said.

The PTI chief said that many social media workers belonging to the party were also taken into custody and were subjected to severe torture. “I urge CJP to listen to Javed and draw line somewhere. People should have confidence that judiciary will protect them,” he added. Hitting out at the Chief Election Commissioner, Imran said that there has never been a more dishonest CEC in the history of Pakistan.Earlier in the day, Imran condemned the government’s “fascist approach” towards PTI members detained during the movement. “Refusing to abide by prison rules for political detainees reflects a desperate and dictatorial mindset, which makes our people even more determined to stand up for Haqeeqi Azadi,” he tweeted.__Courtesy Daily Times