PTI says ‘victory near’ after govt resorts to ‘force’ at Islamabad central office

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PTI

ISLAMABAD, MAY 24: Blasting the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz(PML-N)-led federal government, Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) senior leader Senator Shibli Faraz on Friday said that absolute victory is now only a “matter of moments”.

His remarks came a day after the Capital Development Authority (CDA) demolished a portion of the PTI Central Secretariat in the federal capital over the “violation of building rules”.

Addressing a joint press conference following the PTI Core Committee’s meeting outside the office, Faraz said the ruling alliance could not compete politically with his party.
Citing figures approved by the National Accounts Committee (NAC), the PTI leader said that investment plunged to its lowest level in 50 years.

According to the official data, Pakistan’s total investment has declined to its lowest ebb since 1972-3 and now it stands at 13.1% of GDP in the current fiscal year 2023-24.

The “system of fascism and repression” is about to collapse, he said, adding that they have already won this fight. Slamming the authorities over yesterday’s operation, the senator said: “Now they are using force.”

Responding to a question, the leader of the opposition in the Senate said that restoration of the Constitution was their key target.

In his hard-hitting presser, the PTI leader censured the rulers for lodging dozens of cases against the PTI founder and said: “The future generation will not be proud of those who did all this.”

He maintained that the steps aimed at victimising PTI further damaged the image of Pakistan in the international community.

“[Incarcerated PTI leader] Yasmin Rashid is fighting for life at the hospital.”

Earlier this week, Rashid was admitted to Lahore’s Services Hospital after reportedly falling unconscious in Kot Lakhpat Jail.

He further said that despite all the hardships, PTI maintained its peaceful and dignified image.

The PTI leader termed their anti-government drive a “political struggle.” Criticising the coalition government, the PTI leader said that judiciary was being attacked to get verdict in their favour.

For his part, PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, while expressing his anguish, said that the authorities violated the sanctity of his party’s Central Secretariat in the federal capital.

“In a democracy, the central office of a party is sanctified.”

He accused the CDA of invading the central office of the former ruling party in Islamabad. “[The operation was aimed at] creating obstacle for us.”

The CDA, however, rejected the allegations and said that its anti-encroachment team launched an operation late Thursday to eliminate illegal construction and encroachment. The operation began at around 11:30pm and ended after an hour.

Condemning the CDA over the operation, the PTI chairman said that he had to hold the party’s core committee meeting on the road. Gohar said: “[I] want to clarify [that] we are [still] peaceful.”

Without naming the incarcerated PTI founder, the party’s outspoken leader Ali Muhammad Khan said that those who defended Pakistan at every forum were being taunted with treason.

“Our office is closed but our workers are sitting outside.” The people gathered for an ideology but not for this building, he added.

“[You should admit] that the prisoner of Adiala Jail has won.”

Addressing the joint presser, PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan accused the government of victimising the former ruling party.

He said that terrorism cases were being lodged against the leadership of the PTI. He further said that PTI leader Aamir Mughal was subjected to “police brutality” last night.

‘Operation legal’
Backing the anti-encroachment operation, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, informed the Senate that action against a political party office had been taken in accordance with the law and for violating building bylaws.

He made the remarks while responding to a point of order raised by PTI Faraz in the Senate earlier today. The law minister further explained that the first notice was issued to the political party in 2020 for violating building bylaws.

“Notices were repeatedly issued from 2020 to 2024 at six-month intervals, with the final notice given on May 10 for ongoing violations.”

“In view of the last notice dated May 10, the action is in accordance with the law,” the minister added.

The minister elaborated that he had talked to the chairman of the CDA, who confirmed that the process had been ongoing for the past four years due to the violations. The final notice was issued to ensure compliance with CDA directions, he added.

The minister further explained that reminders were issued to the political party regarding two floors constructed without CDA approval and the misuse of a public place for parking containers. He said that the party had constructed illegal parking sheds.

He said that despite repeated requests, the party did not remove the illegal structures or vacate the public space, causing problems for the public.