PTI president says political crisis in Pakistan scripted
In a clear sign of a revolt brewing within, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) president Javed Hashmi Monday claimed that the ongoing political crisis in the country was scripted amidst more clashes between anti-government protesters and police in the highly secured area of the capital Islamabad.
“Imran Khan said we can’t move forward without the army,” Hashmi told reporters outside parliament, Geo TV reported.
“Imran Khan also said that all the matters had been decided and there will be elections in September,” Hashmi claimed, adding, it appeared as if everything had been planned in advance.
He, however, said there was a mention of the ISI and the army. “Imran Khan himself said this before the core committee.”
Hashmi went on to say that Imran Khan is driven by whims and that he had no regard for the constitution of Pakistan.
PTI responded by issuing a show cause notice to Hashmi. The party’s central information secretary, Shireen Mazari, said that Hashmi’s “unfounded allegations” are not grounded in facts.
Earlier in the day, anti-government protesters took over the Pakistan Television (PTV) network office in Islamabad, as a result of which transmission was disrupted for few hours.
Although the Pakistan Army later secured the PTV building and transmission was resumed, PTV’s managing director Mohammad Malik said that cameras worth hundreds of thousands of rupees were stolen, and protesters also damaged cables inside the office.
Protesters also moved beyond the government secretariat area and headed towards the prime minister’s house in the highly secured ‘Red Zone’. At least five people were injured as police fired tear-gas, rubber bullets and resorted to baton-charge to prevent the protesters from moving any further.
Imran Khan as well as Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri directed their supporters to remain peaceful and non-violent.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif Monday to discuss the situation in Islamabad and they agreed on seeking a political and constitutional solution to the present political deadlock in the country.
Later, chairing a meeting of government’s coalition partners and leaders of the opposition parties, Sharif said the nation should remain assured that he would neither quit his office nor proceed on leave of absence.
The anti-government protests led by PTI chief Imran Khan and Qadri began Aug 15 in an attempt to topple Sharif, who is accused of rigging the 2013 general elections.
The protests turned violent late Saturday and Sunday and as a result, at least three people were killed with over 450 protesters injured.