Pakistan

Corrupt Prime Minister a ‘security risk’ for Pakistan, says Imran Khan

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ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan insisted on Saturday that a corrupt Prime Minister was a security risk for Pakistan.

Speaking to media representatives outside his residence in Bani Gala, he said the court have given us a go-ahead to conduct a peaceful protest in Islamabad but the government is not respecting its verdict, said Imran Khan and asked, “Isn’t it a contempt of court.”

If the justice system of Pakistan cannot protect our rights, then what is left with people like us to do in this country, he asked.

Khan said police was not allowing food items inside the premises of Bani Gala for our workers and supporters stationed here.

“To all my activists, you have to prepare for Nov. 2, you have to escape capture,” Khan told to his supporters earlier today who have set up camps apparently to support and protect their party leadership from police patrolling in the vicinity.

Khan said the government just saw only a practice match in Rawalpindi on Friday; the real match would be on November 2.

He said next month PTI would show PM Nawaz the power of real democracy and asked his party workers to evade arrests or captures before November 2 and reach Islamabad at any cost breaking all the hurdles.

The government has placed Bani Gala under siege illegally and without any official order, PTI senior leader Jehangir Tareen told reporters on Saturday.

Tareen said Nawaz Sharif has lockdown two major cities of the country before the November 2 protest which the PTI leader insisted would be held despite hurdles.

He also announced his party was planning to approach courts for the release of the arrested workers on October 31.

PTI’s Chaudhry Sarwar said with the word lockdown, PTI never meant to lockdown all main roads of Islamabad, disrupting lives.

Khan’s latest challenge to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government is based on leaked documents from the Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm that appear to show that his daughter and two sons owned offshore holding companies registered in the British Virgin Islands. Sharif’s family have been denying wrongdoings without any evidence.

 

Mayhem in twin cities

Protests, shelling, baton charge and then more protests in Islamabad and its twin city created an uncertain for the entire country on Friday.

The opposition leader Imran Khan accused the government of placing him under a ‘virtual house arrest’ in Bani Gala in Islamabad.

Normal life in the capital and Rawalpindi on Friday remained tensed as police charged stone-throwing protesters with batons and fired tear gas at the supporters, who had come out onto the streets to demonstrate against arrests made the previous night after authorities banned all public gatherings in the capital for two months.

A huge number of the forces surrounded PTI Chairman’s residence in Bani Gala and Awami Muslim League’s (AML) Chief Sheikh Rasheed’s Lal Haveli in Rawalpindi with containers blocking the entire city.

There have been several reports of injuries in both the cities. Intense shelling by police officials in Rawalpindi claimed the life of a three-day-old toddler in Liaquat Bagh neighbourhood due to suffocation

Both sides, PTI and Sheikh Rasheed’s Awami Muslim League (AML) prepared for Khan’s plan to shutdown the capital next week to try to force Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign.

Analyst says that the protests added to rising political tension ahead of Khan’s vow to lock down the capital on November 2 to try to force Sharif to quit because of corruption allegations.

 

Sheikh Rashid’s show

Sheikh Rasheed, a key ally of PTI, cancelled a planned rally but joined his supporters in the streets of Rawalpindi after tricking police officials.

Television footage showed the AML leader being ferried to the rally on the back of a motorbike through the narrow side streets of Rawalpindi.

He then climbed on top of a van, shook his fist in the air to supporters and dared police to arrest him.

However, police said they had no intention to arrest him as they did not have orders for his arrest.

Authorities blocked main roads leading to the Rawalpindi rally with shipping containers and obstructed the rally site with trucks and containers, keeping PTI supporters from gathering there en masse.

 

Ban on gatherings

Imran Khan on Friday called for nationwide protests on after several PTI activists were arrested a day earlier during a raided an indoor youth convention in Islamabad by baton-wielding police.

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Police said the rally contravened an Islamabad High Court (IHC) order issued hours earlier that banned all public gatherings in Islamabad and Rawalpindi ahead of next week’s protests and arrested hundreds of PTI and AML workers and supporters in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

IHC also ordered the government yesterday to remove the containers placed at entry and exit points of Islamabad immediately, and said the government cannot arrest any person unless he or she commits a crime.

The same court had also told the PTI leadership that they must not shutdown the federal capital next month.

 

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