PTI to sue NAB for arresting Imran

LAHORE, May 15: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has decided to register cases against the country’s top graft buster –the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)—and paramilitary Rangers for “abducting” the party chief Imran Khan from the premises of Islamabad High Court (IHC) on May 9.

It has also announced registering murder cases against those responsible for opening fire on “unarmed, peaceful” people protesting in the wake of Imran’s arrest

The party will nominate the interior minister, caretaker chief ministers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), inspectors general police (IGPs) of the two provinces and other senior officials in its first information reports (FIRs).

The party has also demanded an independent investigation into the incidents of vandalism and arson that took place on May 9 to be undertaken by a high-level commission comprising top court judges.

All this was decided on Sunday during a high level meeting of the PTI leaders chaired by Imran Khan in Lahore. The meeting was called to chalk out the party’s future course of action in wake of rising unrest and lawlessness in the country.

The meeting deliberated on the current political situations, open violations of the Constitution by the incumbent government, suspension of the fundamental rights and illegal arrests of the PTI leaders, workers and common citizens.

It strongly condemned the “abduction” of former prime minister Imran Khan from the IHC. The meeting decided to register an FIR against NAB and Rangers.

The dozens of troops of paramilitary Rangers on May 9 broke into an office of the IHC and whisked Imran Khan away in a whirlwind raid carried out on the order of NAB in connection with a corruption case. The apex court, however, declared the arrest illegal on May 11.

It highlighted that the party had staged protest demonstrations at thousands of locations across Pakistan after Imran Khan was attacked in Wazirabad in November 2022 but did not cause damage to anyone.

The participants noted that the PTI is a peaceful party which believes in doing politics under the ambit of law. The entire 27 years history of the party is based on peaceful politics. Even in the most difficult circumstances, PTI Chairman Imran Khan never tried to resort to violence, they observed.

Meeting participants expressed solidarity with martyrs who lost their lives or were injured in May 9 incidents and announced their full support to their families.

It also condemned Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s plan to “attack” the apex court through madrasa students and expressed concerns over handing over the charge of the federal capital’s red zone to an armed wing of the party.

The party leadership announced responding with full force to this blackmailing.

It termed violation of the apex court’s order to hold elections in Punjab on May 14 as an attempt to undermine the Constitution. It said the caretaker Punjab government had no legal and constitutional mandate to exercise its power now.

The party also decided to initiate legal action against the caretaker governments in Punjab and the K-P.

The meeting participants were briefed about an ongoing malicious campaign against the former prime minister and his wife in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust case. Restrictions imposed on freedom of expression and social and mainstream media were also condemned.

PTI leadership reiterated that free and fair elections are the only solution to the current crisis.

The meeting decided to make swift arrangements for release of thousands of party workers and leaders and kick off a nationwide movement for protection of the Constitution and to express solidarity with the judiciary. It also reviewed plans for the PTI’s public rallies that will kick off from Muridke on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, PTI Chairman Imran Khan said democracy in Pakistan is at an “all-time low” and the judiciary is the only hope for the country. The government is petrified of elections as it fears being wiped out by the PTI at the polls, Imran said during an interview with an international media outlet on Sunday.

The former premier claimed that the incumbent government is trying to remove him from the political scene by putting him behind bars or assassinating him before announcing polls. “Two attempts have been made on my life; my house has been raided for 24 hours and I have been detained,” he said.

Responding to a question about violent protests that erupted across the country after his arrest from the premises of the IHC, Imran said he had no access to information when he was “abducted” from the court. He condemned all incidents of violence and vandalism.

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