Monday, May 29, 2023
Following an exchange of accusations between the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the federal government involving alleged “ill-treatment” of the party’s women workers and supporters during the custody, the Punjab government on Sunday issued details of the women rounded up in connection with the May 9 mayhem.
Khan's arrest earlier this month sparked days of street protests after which the PTI leaders' exodus started, as security forces launched a crackdown against the party following the attacks on civil and military institutions, including the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and the Lahore Corps Commander’s House (Jinnah House). At least eight people were killed in the violent protests almost across the country.
In a late-night press conference on Saturday, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that the PTI planned to highlight human rights violations in Pakistan on a global scale after orchestrating a simulated raid at a certain known party worker, involving a rape and casualties caused by gunfire.
The security czar said that intelligence agencies intercepted an audio clip that sheds light on a conspiracy hatched by the PTI to malign the country's law-enforcement agencies.
Reacting to his presser, Imran Khan on Sunday said Sanaullah is "so obviously trying to cover up and preempt the horror stories about to break in the media."
"If there were any doubts about women being mistreated in jails, this press conference from this certified criminal should remove all such doubts," he wrote on Twitter.
Giving details about the women's arrest in May 9 incidents, Punjab Interim Information Minister Amir Mir said that the provincial government arrested total 32 women in “terror incidents”.
Out of the 32, 21 women have been released, he said, adding that currently, 11 women were kept in different Punjab jails on judicial remand.
Without naming Khan or the PTI, the provincial information minister said: “A political party's propaganda about the ill-treatment of women in prisons is a bundle of lies.”
“[We] can't even imagine ill-treatment of women [in jails]”, he added.
The minister said that the provincial government believed in women’s rights, adding that Islam also advocates honour and respect for women.
“Action is being taken against women involved in terrorist activities according to the law,” he added.