ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Thursday announced joining the Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s movement on January 18, asking his ‘tigers’ to be ready, as he urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo moto notice of the Model Town tragedy.
About ex-PM Nawaz Sharif’s statement on Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, he alleged that this might be a kind of signal to India perhaps for raising Makti Bahni-like… He called Mujib a genuine leader, unlike Nawaz, who was brought up by the late Ziaul Haq.
During the news conference held with reference to the gory incident of rape and murder of young girl Zainab, Imran said that after the APS tragedy, this had shook the entire nation while people no more had faith in the government as well as the Punjab Police, serving only the interests of the Sharifs. He regretted that nothing was learnt from the APS tragedy.
That was why, he continued, the father of the child had made an appeal to the chief justice and the army chief for justice instead of looking towards the Punjab Police. Imran claimed that when people lose faith in the institutions, they take to roads and resort to vandalism but it would never happen in a civilised society that the police would open direct fire on them. He was referring to the police firing in Kasur on protesters on Wednesday.
He alleged that nothing was done to check the trend of violence and barbarism on children, whereas in civilised societies, measures would always be taken on the occurrence of any such happening to avert them in future.
The PTI chief recalled how the police had fired directly on the people in Model Town; 14 were shot dead while another 100 wounded and this was shown on TV channels and again on Wednesday, the police were seen shooting at protesters.
Imran expressed concern over the state of affairs in the police department and said instead of introducing reforms, the rulers had changed uniform of the police, as if this change would improve their performance. He charged the Sharifs had been in power for decades and still they always focus on big projects to make commission like Metro bus project, motorways, etc. He wondered was it the duty of the police to protect one family i.e. the Sharif family and claimed that 2,500 cops were deployed at Jati Umra for their security and it had cost the nation Rs7 billion in as many years, whereas with Rs4 billion, Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital had been built in Peshawar.
Imran said he would be with Dr Tahirul Qadri with ‘full force’ on January 18 in a bid to get justice for the victims of Model Town killings. He pointed out that the Zainab incident was the 12th in Kasur, but had they not ignored the first one, like in Iran where a perpetrator was punished publicly, the situation would have been different.
He castigated Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for doing what he called gimmicks, instead of solving masses’ problems and also criticised him for showing his performance through advertisements instead of doing so on the ground.
He claimed the victims of Model Town incident could not get justice in four years because Shahbaz Sharif ran the government and Rana Sanaullah, who according to the father of Abid Sher Ali had murdered 18 people, was with them.
About the Punjab Police, he quoted from a report prepared in 1992-93 by then inspector general of police Abbas Khan, who had traced reasons for the plight of the department and noted that there were three major reasons: recruitment were made on political basis, bribe was received for giving jobs in police and the most shameful thing was that people with criminal background were inducted in the department by the Sharifs, who would serve them instead of acting as per the law.
Unlike in the Punjab, he claimed that the PTI-led government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had carried out reforms in police after getting appointed Nasir Durrani as the IG from Punjab with assurance that neither he (Imran) nor chief minister would interfere in his work. He shared some statistics with journalists about the KP Police's performance, which showed that murder cases had been reduced by 26 percent, attempted murders by 150 percent, kidnapping by 82 percent, theft by 36 percent, and there was 78 percent fall in acts of extortion.
In contrast to it, Imran said, using the police, six terrorist cases were filed against him (Imran) and other PTI leaders, including Shafqat Mehmood and Shireen Mazari. After the news conference, he tasked former secretary general of the PTI Jehangir Tareen to lead a party delegation for talks with Pir Hameedud Din Sialvi today (Friday) in connection with the Khatme Nabuwwat movement.
Replying to questions, Imran grilled Premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for remaining silent on the US President Donald Trump’s threats to Pakistan. He said the only solution to the prevailing crisis in Pakistan was the holding of early elections and challenged Nawaz Sharif to go for this, as he claimed to be enjoying popular support of masses. He wanted the IB and the police to focus on their mandated jobs instead of serving political interests of rulers.