Sunday, June 05, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Hours after Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah issued a warning regarding Imran Khan's possible arrest upon the expiry of his bail, PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi warned the government that if the party's chairman is arrested, it should be ready to face a "strong backlash" from PTI workers.
“The PTI will retaliate in a strong manner if Imran Khan is arrested. And if PTI workers receive news of Imran Khan’s arrest, they should come upon with a quick response to it,” Qureshi said in a press conference after attending the party’s core committee meeting.
The meeting was chaired by former prime minister Imran Khan at his Bani Gala residence after his return from Peshawar.
Qureshi told the press that everyone had heard Sanaullah’s threat to Imran Khan.
“Arresting Imran Khan will be a political mistake,” said Qureshi, as he also used the press conference to direct the party workers to start preparing their response to Khan’s arrest if it happens.
Apart from the concerns regarding the arrest, the PTI leader said that no party lawmaker would appear before National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to verify their resignations. He added that the PTI would take part in the by-elections being held for the 20 vacant seats of the Punjab Assembly.
The former foreign minister alleged that the government wanted to use the police and the district administration to steer the results in their favour.
Qureshi also stated that the PTI's core committee has expressed concerns about the economic situation of the country.
While responding to Qureshi’s press conference, Sanaullah said that whoever breaks the law will be dealt with by the law.
“Martyrdom of an innocent police officer, using weapons and ammunition is not a political reaction,” said the interior minister. He added that the government cannot act as a mere spectator if the PTI “lies and creates anarchy” in the country.
“The law and order will be strictly implemented, we will not break the law nor will we allow it,” said the interior minister, adding that as soon as Imran Khan returned to Bani Gala, he started spreading a “new pack of lies”.
“Those who hid out of fear on May 25 have now come out of their hideouts, 11 days ago no one came out and now no one will come out again,” said the minister. "Thankfully, the revolution has reached Bani Gala alone today from Peshawar on a Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government's helicopter," he sniped.
A few hours earlier, the interior minister had revealed that the decision to deploy security officials at Bani Gala to guard PTI Chairman Imran Khan was made as per the law, however, the "same security" officials will arrest him once his bail expires.
Taking to Twitter, the interior minister wrote: "Imran Khan is being provided the security as per law and the “same security” will arrest him once his bail expires on the 25th of June. He is nominated as a suspect in more than two dozen cases including rioting, instigating violence, and armed attacks on the federation."
He continued: "How can a person having mischievous agendas and complete disregard for moral and democratic values head a political party in a democratic system? He even stamps his opponents as traitors and Yazeed. It’s a moment of reflection for the whole nation."
Late Saturday night, the Islamabad police said that in view of Imran Khan's possible return to Islamabad from Peshawar, security around Bani Gala has been beefed up.
“In view of the expected arrival of PTI Chairman Imran Khan in Bani Gala, security around Bani Gala has been strengthened and placed on high alert,” said the police.