Activists of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party of former Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, gather in support of country's judicial system at Zaman Park in Lahore on 14 May, 2023
AFP

Former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Monday divulged about “London plan” of Shehbaz Sharif government that aims to outlaw his party PTI, putting his wife Bushra begum in jail, and use some sedition law to keep him inside for next ten years.

“So now the complete London plan is out. Using pretext of violence while I was inside the jail, they have assumed the role of judge, jury and executioner. The Plan now is to humiliate me by putting Bushra begum in jail, and using some sedition law to keep me inside for next ten years,” Imran Khan said in a tweet.

Notably, Shehbaz Sharif earlier decided to extend his stay for one more day on the directives of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif in London when he went for King Charles’s coronation.

“Then will follow complete crackdown on whatever is left of PTI leadership and workers,” said Imran Khan.

He compared the possible ban on his party with that of Awami League in erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.

“And finally they will ban the largest and only federal party of Pakistan. (Just as they banned the Awami League in East Pakistan),” he tweeted.

The PTI chief also alleged that the Shehbaz government will suspend internet services and ban social media.

To ensure that there is no public reaction, they have done two things, first deliberate terror is unleashed not just on PTI workers but on common citizens as well. Second, the media is totally controlled and muzzled. And tomorrow they will again suspend internet services and ban social media (which is only partially open),” he tweeted.

Khan is likely to appear before the Lahore High Court on Monday in the cases registered against him for torching the house of the Corps Commander and other incidents of violence erupted after his arrest last week.

The ex-PM further alleged that houses are being broken in and shamelessly police is manhandling the women of the houses.

“Never has the sanctity of chadar and chaar dewaari been violated the way it is being done by these criminals.

This is a deliberate attempt to instil so much fear in people that when they come to arrest me tomorrow, people won’t come out..,” he tweeted.

Speaking about Pakistan Democratic Movement chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s protest demonstration scheduled to be held outside the Supreme Court on Monday, he said, “The JUIF Drama being done outside the SC tomorrow is only for one purpose, to overawe the Chief Justice of Pakistan so that he doesn’t give a verdict according to the constitution.”

He said that Pakistan has already seen such a brazen attack on the Supreme Court when in 1997 PMLN goons physically attacked it and had one of the most respected Chief Justices Sajjad Ali Shah removed.

Khan said that he will fight for Haqeeqi Azaadi till the last drop of his blood because for him death is preferable to be enslaved by an assortment of crooks in a message to Pakistani citizens.

SC to take up ECP review petition on Punjab election today

The Pakistan Supreme Court (SC) will take up the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) plea on Monday seeking to revisit its 4 April order of holding elections in Punjab as the 14 May deadline set by the top court expired on Sunday, reported The News International.

The electoral authority had postponed the Punjab polls to October, which the PTI had challenged. The Supreme Court, in a 4 April order, declared the ECP’s decision to be unconstitutional, without lawful authority or jurisdiction, void ab-initio and of no legal effect.

Activists of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party of former Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, gather in support of country’s judicial system at Zaman Park in Lahore on 14 May, 2023
AFP

Last month, a three-member bench of the top court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar declared the ECP’s decision of holding polls on 8 October instead of 30 April “illegal” and ordered the electoral watchdog to hold polls in Punjab on 14 May.

Subsequently, the election organising authority moved the top court to review its 4 April directives. In a 14-page petition, the top election organising authority said that the apex court should review its decision as the judiciary “doesn’t have the authority to give the date of elections,” reported Geo News.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)  led by Imran Khan said that there is no legal or constitutional standing of the caretaker government in Punjab, referring to the Supreme Court’s deadline of 14 May for polls in the province.

“Not holding elections in Punjab today after the order of the Constitution and the Supreme Court is an attempt to brutally kill the Constitution,” it said.

During a meeting under the leadership of Imran Khan, the party agreed to prepare a comprehensive legal action plan regarding the future of the caretaker governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, reported Dawn.

“Immediate holding of clean and transparent elections across the country is the only constitutional way to achieve internal stability and effective solution to political and economic crises,” the PTI said.

In a bid to ensure elections on the prescribed date, the three-member bench of the Supreme Court on 14 April ordered the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to allocate and release Rs 21 billion from the funds held with it to the ECP, reported The News International.

On 18 April, the ECP informed the top court that it had not yet received Rs 21 billion required for holding elections to the Punjab Assembly on 14 May.

However, despite multiple rounds of negotiations, both sides could not develop a consensus on the matter and on 3 May, the PTI submitted a report to the top court on negotiations with the PDM-led government, requesting the apex court to ensure implementation of its April 4 judgement regarding holding elections to the Punjab Assembly on 14 May.

PDM to decide on Supreme Court sit-in venue

The federal government has apparently failed to convince Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to change the venue of the sit-in and announced that a new place of protest gathering would be decided by Monday morning, reported Geo News.

This comes after Shehbaz Sharif Government failed to convince PDM chief Maulana Fazl to change the sit-in venue despite two rounds of meetings.

The ruling PDM had announced staging a protest sit-in outside the Supreme Court against Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial for the judiciary’s “undue facilitation” to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, reported Geo News.

Earlier, on Sunday, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led federal government requested the PDM chief to change the venue of the protest sit-in from outside the Supreme Court to D-Chowk in Islamabad amid security concerns.

Earlier, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah voiced concerns over the PDM’s protest demonstration scheduled outside the Supreme Court on Monday, saying “angry protesters in large numbers are intending to attend the sit-in”.

Sanaullah said an intelligence report indicated that staging the protest in the red zone or Constitutional Avenue area of the federal capital could create a tense situation, reported Geo News.

“We fear that if this protest takes place in the red zone area [then] it will be difficult for the administration to handle the situation,” he remarked.

The ruling alliance of 13 political parties had announced a sit-in outside the Supreme Court on Monday (tomorrow) to protest the judiciary’s “undue facilitation” of PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

The protest sit-in coincides with the hearing of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) plea asking the apex court to revisit its order to hold elections in the Punjab Assembly on 14 May.