- PTI chief accuses CM Shehbaz of patronising extrajudicial killings, politicising police
- Addresses election rally in Lodhran despite ECP’s warning
LODHRAN: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Friday demanded the constitution of a judicial commission to investigate the extrajudicial killings in Punjab, particularly after the arrest of notorious former policeman Abid “Boxer”.
Addressing a rally here ahead of the by-elections in NA-154 Lodhran, Imran called on the Supreme Court to take notice of the extrajudicial killings and form a judicial commission to investigate into the matter.
The PTI chief referred to the arrest of former Inspector Abid “Boxer” who has allegedly confessed to a string of encounters and made startling revelations that these were conducted on the orders of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
“Abid Boxer has confessed to killing two brothers on directives of Shehbaz Sharif, while a youth named Mudassir was killed in Kasur on suspicion of criminal assault,” he said, adding that during the Shehbaz’s reign, 870 people were killed in Punjab of which 137 were killed in Kasur alone.
“It is inevitable for the police not to be corrupted if a chief minister asks them to carry out extrajudicial killings,” he said. “Unlike Punjab police, KP police did not shed a drop of blood while probing minor Asma’s case. While Punjab police killed an innocent person while probing Zainab case,” he said.
Predicting the fall of the “pharoah”, Imran said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif has already been shown the door and “now Shehbaz’s end is near”. Terming the Sharifs a mafia, Imran said that mafia has bought everyone in the country, including the opposition.
“Mafia destroys institutions,” he said. The PTI chief also slammed the PML-N for filing cases against him and disqualified party leader Jehangir Tareen, alleging they were politically motivated.
“We respect state’s institutions and the Supreme Court, and we have asked Jehangir Tareen to accept whatever decision given by the court,” Imran said. “[Despite that] Tareen did not do any corruption or launder money. He gives the most taxes,” the PTI chairman claimed.
Earlier in the day, District Returning Officer Hammad Ijaz wrote to the PTI chief directing him not to take part in the rally citing a Dec 20, 2017, order and its own code of conduct which bars lawmakers and ministers from visiting a constituency after issuance of the by-election schedule.
“ECP expects political parties, their leadership and candidates to comply with the code of conduct to increase public support for fair and transparent elections,” the notice reads. Moreover, it advised Imran to abide by the code of conduct in letter and spirit.
Later in the night, the ECP issued a notice to PTI candidate Ali Tareen for breaching the body’s code of conduct.
Tareen has been instructed to appear before the district election commissioner, either in person or through a counsel, on February 11 as the party’s rally was within the limits of the constituency.
10 CANDIDATES CONTESTING:
ECP also issued a polling scheme on Friday which underlines the schedule of the by-polls that will take place on February 12.
According to the ECP, the constituency has a total of 431,002 registered voters, who will cast the ballot at 328 polling stations. A total of 1,043 polling booths have been set up at the stations, where 338 presiding officers and 1,043 assistant presiding officers will be on duty on voting day.
The seat was occupied by PTI’s secretary general Jahangir Tareen, who was disqualified by the Supreme Court in December 2017 for not being ‘honest’ and ‘truthful’ as per Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.
Seven out of the ten candidates that will contest the NA-154 by-poll are independent.
Jehangir Tareen’s son, Ali will be contesting the by-poll while Iqbal Shah from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Ali Beg from Pakistan Peoples Party will be contending the elections.