Pakistan: Enraged PTI awaits Imran’s nationwide protest call


LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has strongly condemned the police operation at former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence, announcing that they will stage nationwide protests against the brutality of the Punjab police.

Addressing a news conference on Saturday, PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry said the party workers and supporters were awaiting Imran’s call to stage protests across the country against the “illegal operation”.

He noted that all the roads leading to the PTI chairman’s residence were closed. “We tried to reach Imran Khan’s residence through different routes, but failed.”

He highlighted that Article 15 of the Constitution gave them the right of movement, which they were denied.

He pointed out that former first lady Bushra Bibi, the wife of Imran, and household staff were present at the time of the operation.

He accused the police of torturing the people present at the residence and damaging the property.

The PTI leader said the police violated the Lahore High Court (LHC) orders. “Terms of reference (ToRs) were signed between the police and the PTI regarding the search of Imran’s residence.”

It was said in the court that the search would be conducted with a warrant and hence “we agreed to cooperate with the authorities, but they violated the agreement, which is invasion of privacy”.

“A contempt of court application has been filed in the Lahore High Court in this connection,” he highlighted.

On Punjab Information Minister Amir Mir and Punjab IG Usman Anwar’s presser, Fawad said that it was full of lies as its contents were already predicted on social media before it was held.

He accused caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Syed Mohsin Naqvi and the Punjab IG of working on an agenda of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz, saying that they would face justice for the murder of their party worker Zille Shah.

“The police launched the operation under an agenda set by PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz,” he added.

He also criticised the government for rising prices of edible items and petroleum products, and failed foreign policy, terming the regime fascist.

“The government is not concerned about the country and its only agenda is to arrest Imran Khan,” he claimed, adding that his party chairman represented Pakistan and this was the reason the incumbent rulers wanted to arrest him.

In an apparent reference to Maryam, Fawad said that a woman, who never contested an election of a councillor, was dictating the government. “She said it was necessary to arrest Imran Khan,” he said, adding that the woman had hijacked the entire Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and the Pakistan Peoples Party.”

On this occasion, PTI Central Punjab General Secretary Hammad Azhar termed the operation illegal and in violation of the court orders, saying everyone saw how the house’s main gate was broken.

“On social media, it was seen that weapons were brought from outside and later the police claimed that they were recovered from Imran Khan’s residence. The police carried out the operation on the behest of someone,” he claimed.

The former federal minister maintained that the PTI was a peaceful party, but they were accused of harbouring terrorists. “In the future whatever we do, we will do it peacefully. There will be protests all over the country, but they will be peaceful,” he added.

“The country cannot continue like this. The caretaker government should not think that they can avoid elections,” he added.

PTI leader Shireen Mazari criticised the government, saying the police operation at Zaman Park during the past few days was “state-sponsored terrorism”.

She slammed the Punjab IG, claiming that fake evidence was planted to justify the police operation, accusing the provincial police chief of lying.

She stated that this operation was part of the “London plan” and a conspiracy to bring Maryam to power. “The country has been turned into a fascist state and the rulers are destroying the country,” she added.

Meanwhile, PTI President Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi also alleged that Zaman Park police operation was carried out on the orders of Maryam and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah.

Speaking to the media, the former Punjab chief minister castigated the PDM government, alleging that the police, on the orders of Sanaullah and Maryam, raided the PTI chairman’s house and ransacked everything without a search warrant.

Also read: Police launch surprise ‘assault’ on Imran’s Zaman Park residence

“Imran Khan’s sister and wife, who were present at the house at the time of the raid, sought a search warrant from the police,” he said, adding that the police instead of showing the warrant raided and ransacked the house.

He maintained that elections would be held in any case as per the Supreme Court orders, claiming that the PML-N would lose the election, as the former prime minister was currently the most popular leader across the country.

He called out to the nation to come in support of Imran against the incumbent government.

However, the PTI leaders asked the party workers to stay calm, alleging that the police attacked the residence with armoured vehicles.

They also claimed that there were no female police officials with the raiding party.

“If the police had a search warrant then who did they produce it before,” they