Condemns PTI workers’ attacks on police, Rangers personnel n Attended by army chief and ISI DG, ruling allies meeting raises question on ‘instant relief’ to PTI chief from courts n Decides to summon joint session of parliament tomorrow n PM says Imran violating the Constitution by dragging state institutions and their leadership into ‘dirty’ politics. ISLAMABAD - Strongly condemning the campaign of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and his party against the Pakistan Army, leaders of ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) yesterday unanimously viewed that that violent politics of the PTI chief is harmful for Pakistan and empowered Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to take a strict action against him (Imran) under the law. The PDM leaders empowered the prime minister to take action against the former PM Imran Khan and his party during a high level meeting summoned by Shehbaz Sharif at the PM House here to discuss the ongoing campaign against the Pakistan army leadership as well as the prevailing chaotic situation in the country created by the PTI.
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The meeting discussed and reviewed the prevailing political situation and statements of PTI chief Imran Khan against the state institutions. The meeting was also attended by federal cabinet members, Army Chief General Asim Munir, Director General ISI Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum and other senior officials. Addressing the meeting, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif made it clear that a strict action under the law would be taken against PTI chief Imran Khan for allegedly indulging in a campaign against the state institutions including Pakistan Army and the army chief. The PDM leaders gave various suggestions to the prime minister in handling the situation. The meeting also decided to call joint session of the parliament tomorrow to discuss the prevailing situation. According to sources, Information Minister Marrium Aurangzeb strongly suggested immediate arrest of Imran Khan and said if not arrested he would become a threat for the system.
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The sources further said that the PDM leaders termed politics of Imran Khan as detrimental for the security of the country and empowered the prime minister to take action against him as per the law. Earlier, the prime minister held separate meetings with Army Chief General Asim Munir and Director General ISI Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum. The PDM meeting strongly condemned the statements of Imran Khan against the Pakistan army and termed his acts and actions unacceptable.
Earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also spoke to former PM Nawaz Sharif in London on phone and later took participants of the meeting into confidence regarding his discussion with Nawaz Sharif.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif earlier in his statement issued to the media said that the “disgusting” smear campaign of PTI against Chief of the Army Staff General Asim Munir, at the behest of Imran Niazi, deserved the strongest condemnation.
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The prime minister said that Imran Niazi was stooping to unprecedented lows in his desperation for power and going to the extent of damaging the country and undermining its Armed Forces and their leadership.
The campaign against the COAS was intolerable and the continuation of a conspiracy against the national institutions, according to a PM Office press release.
The prime minister urged overseas Pakistanis to raise their voice against the “foreign-funded” campaign. He said as the dirty political game was being played through the expatriates, they should not become part of the conspiracy.
He said Imran Khan was violating the Constitution by dragging the state institutions and their leadership into his “dirty” politics. Shehbaz also instructed the interior minister to strictly deal with those running such a smear campaign against the institutions.
He also warned of strict legal action against those fanning chaos and subversion in the country. A campaign against an army chief appointed purely on merit for the first time in the country’s history could only be an agenda of the anti-Pakistan elements, he added.
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“The whole nation stands by its institutions and is united against miscreants,” the prime minister remarked. During the meeting, the PDM leaders raised questions over the ‘instant relief’ Imran Khan got from courts.
According to sources, the PDM leaders mulled over options to ban PTI ‘following its clashes with police at Islamabad judicial complex and Zaman Park’. However, PPP and another political party opposed this option. During the meeting, the majority of participants were of the view that they should not be blackmailed from Imran Khan’s statements. “We should not be afraid of such statements, as PTI was exposing itself,” the sources said quoting the PDM leaders.
Moreover, majority of the PDM leaders opined that elections on national and provincial assemblies should be held ‘at the same time’.
Later, in a joint statement issued by the government, the meeting strongly condemned the attacks and torture of police and Rangers on the orders of Imran Khan and said strong action would be taken against those who had violated the law.
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The participants said that the police and Rangers, who came under attack, were only implementing the court orders.
The participants were briefed in detail about the economy, revival of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Programme and measures taken by the prime minister for relief to the public.
The relief measures included farmers’ package, supply of free flour during Ramazan to poor families, scheme to provide special relief of Rs 50 in the price of petrol to the low wage and low income people, special CSS examination for youth across the country, promotion of solar energy, interest free and inexpensive loans for youth and rehabilitation of flood affectees and other programmes.
The attendees appreciated Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for revival of the economy and the IMF programme and for providing maximum relief to the people despite difficult economic conditions and expressed complete confidence in his leadership.
They said that it was matter of grave concern that violent and trained miscreants comprising persons belonging to banned organizations and carrying petrol bombs, sticks, catapults and weapons attacked officers and personnel of state institutions.
This behaviour in no way was constitutional, legal, democratic and political, they said adding taking up arms against state, targeting of officers and jawans, shooting at them, burning of vehicles, besieging the court premises and rioting, throwing of police vehicles in canals and stopping and torturing policemen who were on duty was an extreme of lawlessness, which nobody state could tolerate.
The meeting expressed solidarity with officers and Jawans of state institutions and lauded their sense of duty and declared that no leniency would be shown and strict action according to law would be taken against those elements who broke the law.
“This is enmity against state which cannot be tolerated,” they said. It was stated that the whole nation saw that PTI was not a political party but was a gang of militants trained by banned organizations and all evidence and proofs were available about it, so it was decided that action would be taken according to the law.
The meeting observed that the attitude of the system of justice with Imran Khan and his associates was further deepening the impression that the two scales were not equal which was not a good omen for constitution, law and principles of justice and two standards of justice in the country were not acceptable.