Imran initiates a ‘Non-Violent’ Jail Bharo movement
Imran proclaims a ‘struggle’ against ‘assault’ on basic liberties and ‘financial crisis’. On Wednesday, the leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, declared the commencement of the Jail Bharo Tehreek movement by the party. The movement aims to express its objection to the incumbent government’s infringement on basic liberties and the financial “crisis” by pursuing arrests.
Tweet By PTI Chairman:
In a Twitter statement, the ex-prime minister elucidated the reasons for the demonstration movement. Firstly, it is a calm and non-aggressive objection to the assault on our fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution. Secondly, it is a protest against the financial breakdown, which is attributed to a group of deceitful individuals who have engaged in money laundering of billions in plundered riches, obtaining exemptions for themselves, while imposing crushing hardships on the people, particularly the disadvantaged and middle-income groups, due to the mounting inflation and increased joblessness.
Besides the nation’s economic hardships, he also expressed grief over the fabricated First Information Reports (FIRs) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases, physical abuse of detainees, and aggression against journalists and social media activists, which the supporters and officials of PTI have endured since the party’s removal from power.
PTI says many workers will be arrested during the protest:
Earlier, PTI affirmed that the reason behind its supporters and laborers courting arrests is to steer the nation towards the “establishment of law and order” and to exert pressure on the government to conduct nationwide elections.
On the PTI’s verified Twitter handle, a video was shared today where the PTI leader appealed to all citizens to unite with the party’s movement and work towards constructing a liberated and affluent Pakistan.
He emphasized that the attainment of such a goal is feasible only if the state guarantees the safeguarding of citizens’ fundamental rights. Accordingly, he declared the Jail Bharo movement as a “jihad” (holy war about Jail Bharo) and equated it with “liberty”.
“I believe the more of you that would participate, the sooner we will arrive at our objectives, that we will attain true freedom for our country,” he added.
Simultaneously, PTI leaders Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Asad Umar stepped forward to offer themselves for arrest in Lahore to inaugurate the movement officially.
During an interaction with the press outside PTI chief Imran Khan’s residence in the provincial capital, senior vice president Fawad Chaudhry disclosed that the “historic movement of Jail Bharo” would commence in Lahore.
He further revealed that both the prominent party members and supporters would surrender themselves to the authorities at Faisal Chowk on Mall Road.
Fawad asserted that in a conference, the PTI leadership had resolved that all high-ranking party officials and laborers would court arrest to lend support to the party’s new campaign.
He further included that Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Asad Umar, both notable party leaders, had volunteered to be arrested on the initial day of the movement.
Nonetheless, the meeting attendees insisted that the party adhere to the pre-planned program.
In the meantime, party insiders hinted that PTI leaders such as Omar Sarfraz Cheema, Waleed Iqbal, and former Punjab education minister Dr. Murad Raas would also turn themselves in for arrest on the first day of the campaign.
Lahore Section 144
On the contrary, the interim provincial government has already enforced Section 144 for a week in three regions of the provincial capital, encompassing Mall Road.
According to an official declaration released by the additional chief secretary the previous Monday, the government had banned all congregations, demonstrations, and marches from Mian Mir Bridge to Istanbul Chowk on Mall Road, along with its immediate vicinity, the Civil Secretariat, and its adjacent roads, as well as Main Boulevard Gulberg.
The notification stated that Section 144 prohibited all sorts of meetings, assemblies, parades, processions, protests, and other comparable events in these areas.
The caretaker government has imposed Section 144 in three areas of Lahore, including Mall Road, where all forms of protests, gatherings and processions have been banned for a week due to security concerns.
“Moreover, Pakistan Super League would shift in Lahore from February 26, where a large number of spectators are likely to visit Qaddafi Stadium, via Main Boulevard Gulberg. Hence, the government imposes Section 144 in Lahore,” the notification said.
Conversely, the governing alliance seems to be in disagreement regarding the government’s next course of action.
As per political insiders, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Awami National Party (ANP) have urged the government to refrain from detaining the PTI workers.
Moreover, a section of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz opposes making arrests. Nonetheless, the party’s chief organizer is a strong advocate of the detentions.
Published on Logicalbaat, 22 Feb, 2023.