Former Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Chief Imran Khan lashed out at the current state of the constitution and democracy after his rally in Lahore was halted and police arrested PTI workers who attended the rally. In Lahore, Section 144 was also imposed ahead of the rally to keep the crowd in check.
Imran Khan said in a series of tweets that the Supreme Court’s five-member bench had ordered elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa within 90 days and asked the President to announce the dates, which were April 30.
He tweeted that the PTI had begun an election rally in Lahore with 55 days to go. He questioned the Punjab Caretaker Government’s use of police violence against unarmed workers to stop the rally.
He claimed that the sole responsibility of caretakers is to ensure fair and free elections. He claimed that the police action violated the rule of law, the Constitution, and democracy.
He called it contempt of the Pakistan Supreme Court and defied its order.
“SC 5-mbr bench orders elections in Punjab & KP in 90 days, asking President to announce date which he does – 30 April. With hardly 55 days left, PTI kicks off election rally in Lahore. Under what law, & in brazen contempt of SC, Punjab Caretaker govt uses massive police violence against unarmed workers to stop our planned rally?” he tweeted on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, PTI employees were arrested for violating Section 144. Following the imposition of the ban, Dawn reported that scores of PTI employees were detained by police on Mall Road for violating Section 144. All roads leading to PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence were also closed.
The Punjab Home Department on Wednesday banned “all kinds of protests, demonstrations and sit-ins” in Lahore for seven days, citing the “overall security situation” in the wake of the recent “wave of terrorism and threat alerts”.
A notification issued by the home ministry said the ban was imposed on “holding all kinds of assemblies, gatherings, sit-ins, rallies, processions, demonstrations, […] protests and such like other activities across the district Lahore to avert any untoward incident”.
The prohibition, imposed under Section 144 (temporary orders in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger) of the Code of Criminal Procedure — is to be in effect immediately.
The PTI had announced a rally in Lahore today, while an Aurat March is also set to be taken out.