Imran says the government cannot terrorize him and his party into submission.
He says the state and government are wrong to think they can force him.
He deplores the treatment meted out to Fawad Chaudhry.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said the government, which he described as a “caval of crooks”, would not be able to intimidate him or his party into submission. He said the state and government were wrong to believe that.
The PIT chief’s statement comes in reaction to the treatment of PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry after he was arrested by the Islamabad police two days ago from his Lahore residence in the early hours of January 25.
Fawad, a former federal minister in the Imran Khan-led government, publicly “threatened” Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) members and their families in a media address a day earlier while addressing PTI supporters who rushed to Imran. Khan’s residence in Lahore’s Zaman Park after rumors circulated that the government was planning to arrest the PTI leader.
Fawad was then taken to Islamabad, where the capital’s police remanded the PTI chief for two days in the sedition case. His arrest drew strong criticism from within the ranks of the federal government. However, the government denied involvement.
“If the state and the rogue clan think they can create an environment of fear and terrorize us into submission, they have got it all wrong,” Imran Khan said in a statement posted on Twitter on Thursday.
The treatment being meted out to Fawad Ch – being abducted, treated like a terrorist, given physical remand on a sham FIR – shows all that is wrong with Pak today. There is no justice, just law of the jungle. If State & cabal of crooks think they can create an environment of fear— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 26, 2023
Furthermore, Khan said that the Pakistani people were more determined than ever to stand against the current oppressive regime.
“My Party and I are more determined than ever to fight against these fascist forces for democracy, the rule of law and justice for our people,” he asserted.
The President asks the officials to be ashamed
The President Dr. Arif Alvi had also expressed regret over the arrest and the manner in which Fawad was presented in the Islamabad court and asked the officials to be “shameful” as they covered his head with a white sheet and handcuffed him.
Fawad’s arrest draws criticism
Senior politicians and a human rights organization deplored the charge of sedition leveled against Fawad Chaudhry and demanded that he “retire immediately.
Mian Raza Rabbani, former chairman of the Senate and leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), said Fawad’s arrest under Section 124-A of the Pakistan Penal Code “is unjustified”.
He said in a statement that his private member’s bill to delete Article 124-A was passed by the Senate on July 9, 2021, but the bill was deliberately “lost” in the National Assembly (NA).
“It is a matter of history that charges of treason and sedition are attributed and imposed only against politicians and citizens,” noted the former president of the Senate.
“It is a fact that the High Court of Lahore quashed the proceedings of the Special Court in the matter of the charge of high treason under Article 6, Constitution, 1973, against Parvez Musharraf.”
It also advised the government to “refrain from prosecution under such sections”. The government should also, ex officio, notify “my bill to delete Article 124-A, which is lying dormant in the National Assembly,” he said.
At a press conference in Islamabad, Minister of State for Petroleum Department Musadik Malik said that if the PTI leader is convicted in the case, it should be based on “evidence”.
He also called on the authorities to take action against the people as per the law.
“Action should be taken against those who break the law. Fawad Chaudhry is my friend. I did not file the case against him. The case was filed by the EKP”.
“I don’t think it is appropriate to file treason cases against politicians. If they commit treason, they will be dealt with according to law,” he added.
Another senior PPP leader, Farhatullah Babar, also expressed regret over the case against Fawad and said, “Implementing this law against anyone cannot be forgiven.”
In a tweet, the PPP leader said, “PPP is, in principle, opposed to the colonial-era Sedition Act 124-A and has demanded its repeal in parliament. The implementation of this law against anyone cannot be condoned.” .
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) also condemned the charge against Fawad and called them archaic and colonial laws used by governments to punish politicians who criticize their policies.
In a tweet, the HRCP said: “The HRCP deplores the continued use of archaic, colonial anti-sedition laws by successive governments against their political opponents.”
“Fawad Chaudhry is the last in line. The charges must be dropped immediately and the government of the day must act more responsibly,” HRCP wrote.