pakistan:-imran-khan-calls-for-‘jail-bharo’-movement-against-shehbaz-sharif-government

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday appealed to his supporters and workers to get ready for the ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ (mass arrest movement) in protest against the government for inflicting torture on the leaders of his party and delaying the announcement for fresh general elections. The comments were made by the ousted prime minister on Saturday during his television address in which he was seen speaking from his Zaman Park residence.

The call has been made days after the cases of sedition were filed against Fawad Chaudhry, his party’s Senior Vice-President, and former member of the National Assembly Shandana Gulzar. 

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“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.

He added that if the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led government and their supporters in the military believe that “we will be frightened by harassment and custodial torture, they are seriously mistaken”.

“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,” said Khan.

Khan’s close aide 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, who had clinched victory from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province’s reserved women’s seat, was booked for “inciting violence against constitutional institutions of the country”.

“Fawad Chaudhry was picked up from home at 3 am. What did Shandana Gulzar do that made her a terrorist? As the court gives bail to Sheikh Rashid, more cases are being filed against him,” Khan stated.

The former prime minister, in his fiery speech, stated that his party could have even held a nationwide strike. He added that, however, they decided to fill the prisons and not hold strikes as that may deteriorate the dwindling economy of the country.

“We have two options: Considering what they have been doing, we could have gone for a wheel-jam strike and demonstrations — which is also a way and a democratic one. But since the state of the economy is so bad, it will worsen it. Therefore, I ask all my workers, the Pakistani nation and everyone to prepare for the Jail Bharo movement,” Khan stated.

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He added that under the leadership of incumbent Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the nation is heading towards the law of the jungle, where “might is right”.

Khan added that the “imported government” had planned to disqualify him and then announce dates for fresh general elections.

“We dissolved governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces over two weeks but the incumbent rulers with the help of the Election Commission of Pakistan are trying their best to delay the elections which have to be held under 90 days under the Constitution (after the dissolution of the assemblies). The rulers fear that they will badly lose, that is why they don’t want polls now,” the prime minister said. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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