PTI to hold nationwide rallies ahead of by-polls


LAHORE:

 

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has announced to stage public rallies nationwide, with a particular focus on the province of Punjab, in the lead-up to the forthcoming by-elections slated for April 21.

Speaking to the press outside Adiala Jail alongside party leader Sher Afzal Marwat and other officials, PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan confirmed that a scheduled meeting with the party’s founder was in accordance with the directives of the high court, which had granted permission for the meeting.

Under the directives of Imran Khan, the chairman announced the party’s plan to organise public rallies in Punjab and other regions before the by-elections. Imran Khan specifically tasked Sher Afzal Marwat with spearheading these rallies in Punjab, which are expected to be attended by senior party members.

Furthermore, it was noted that Imran Khan instructed the party’s leadership to revamp the party’s activities nationwide, particularly in Punjab.

The responsibility to mobilise the party in Punjab and KP, and to conduct rallies preceding the by-elections, was entrusted to Barrister Gohar, Omar Ayub and Sher Afzal Marwat.He underscored that the party’s founder had tasked Sher Afzal Marwat with visiting constituencies facing by-elections, urging candidates to promptly organise meetings in their respective areas.

Additionally, Gohar and Omar Ayub were assigned the duty to visit Sindh and Punjab for party gatherings.

Addressing the circumstances of the meeting with Imran Khan, Gohar criticised the jail administration for breaching the court’s order by failing to provide privacy to PTI leadership.

He highlighted that, for the first time, a glass screen was installed between Imran Khan and his visitors. In response to this interference, Imran Khan instructed Sher Afzal Marwat to file a contempt of court petition against the jail administration.

Reflecting on discussions with Imran Khan, Gohar revealed the founder’s concerns regarding the perceived state of the nation, advocating for equal application of the law and expressing frustration over unresolved petitions in the Supreme Court.

Additionally, Barrister Gohar announced plans to hold a rally in support of judicial independence at the behest of PTI’s founder.

Furthermore, the PTI chairman lamented the Election Commission of Pakistan’s actions in rejecting the party’s candidates under the pretext of recounting votes.

Speaking on the occasion, Sher Afzal Marwat disclosed the presence of a concealed camera in a light bulb during the meeting with PTI’s founder, raising concerns over continued breaches of the court’s directives by jail authorities.

Meanwhile, PTI’s secretary general and opposition leader in the National Assembly, Omar Ayub Khan, strongly criticised the Punjab government and provincial police for their actions against PTI’s candidates and supporters ahead of the April 21 by-polls, labelling it as pre-poll rigging.

Speaking at a press conference alongside PTI Central Information Secretary Raoof Hasan, Omar demanded the public release of the Faizabad inquiry report and the punishment of those responsible.

He highlighted instances of harassment faced by PTI’s candidate for PP-36 by Punjab police, including raids on his residence and interference with party gatherings. Omar criticised the Punjab Chief Minister and IG Punjab, accusing them of incompetence and employing coercive tactics to intimidate PTI leaders and workers across various constituencies.

Additionally, Omar raised concerns about the reduction in polling stations and alleged interference in the electoral process by the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC). He claimed that PTI’s seats were being targeted for reduction, citing the appointment of RPO Gujranwala, a relative of a PML-N candidate, to oversee elections in Wazirabad.

Regarding recent events in Bahawalnagar, Omar called for a transparent judicial inquiry into the clash between police and army personnel to hold accountable those responsible for the incident, which he described as indicative of a lack of discipline within law enforcement agencies.

Responding to statements made by Khwaja Asif, Omar challenged the legality of police actions against PTI leaders and workers and reaffirmed PTI’s commitment to unity under the leadership of Imran Khan.Omar criticised the economic policies of the previous government and warned of impending inflation under the current regime. He also addressed geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and expressed disappointment at the lack of a policy statement from the Pakistani foreign minister.

Touching on domestic issues, Omar emphasised the importance of the rule of law and judicial independence, highlighting concerns raised by judges of the Islamabad High Court regarding interference from intelligence agencies.

Regarding PTI’s opposition alliance, Omar asserted its commitment to upholding the constitution and rule of law and challenged other political parties to demonstrate similar dedication to public welfare.

In conclusion, Omar called for the resolution of grievances in Balochistan, the equitable utilisation of resources, and an end to enforced disappearances, emphasising the need for lawful accountability.

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