Pakistan Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has issued a warning to Imran Khan, saying the former prime minister will be arrested if he dared to launch any anti-government protest.
“Government ‘prepared to arrest PTI chief’ if fresh protest launched,” the minister was quoted as saying by Dawn.
Further criticising Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Sanaullah said it had been creating trouble since 2014.
“In 2014, PTI staged protest demonstrations and tried to stop the journey of progress and prosperity. Imran Khan is following the politics of agitation in the shape of long marches, sealing Islamabad on the pretext of a date for elections.”
The warning comes a day after Khan appealed to his supporters to be prepared for the ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ (mass arrest movement).
“I ask the people to get ready and wait for my call for ‘jail bharo tehreek’. There will not be that much space in Pakistani jails to have them all,” said Khan.
“Wait for my call…when I will give you the signal to fill jails. I know the jails will choke as they don’t have that much capacity.”
Khan announced the new movement after sedition cases were filed against his close aides viz. PTI senior vice president Fawad Chaudhary and former member of the National Assembly Shandana Gulzar.
Notably, Chaudhry was arrested last week from his Lahore residence in a pre-dawn raid after the Secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan complained against him for “threatening” the members of the electoral body and their families.
Meanwhile, Gulzar was booked for “inciting violence against constitutional institutions of the country”.
After Khan’s long march was suspended last year following an assassination attempt, he had been relatively quiet on the protest front.
Thus, experts believe that ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ is an attempt by Khan to ratchet up the pressure on the government which is already under extreme duress, trying to balance a failing economy.
(With inputs from agencies)
WATCH WION LIVE HERE: