ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday demanded resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in the wake of the killing of 11 people due to police firing at Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers.
According to a press release issued on Saturday, the PTI chairman said the complicity of the chief minister in the Model Town action was evident from the hasty transfer of the Punjab inspector general of police (IGP) just before the police action commenced. “Being the Punjab chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif should take the responsibility for these killings,” the statement said. Imran pointed out that under his previous tenures police killings were a part of routine police behaviour in Punjab who, he added, was notorious for extra-judicial killings and “encounters”.
He said the Punjab Police is effectively a militant wing of the PML-N and has lost all credibility amongst the residents of the province. “It is seen more as a force of terror than protection against terror by the ordinary citizens,” Imran said, adding that instead of showing remorse and resigning, the chief minister, aided by his brother the prime minister, has set on the path of vengeance by getting PEMRA to ban news channel ARY for simply showing and exposing the “police atrocities” against PAT workers in Model Town.
Imran said that this was yet another attempt of the Sharifs’ to silence their political opponents and was a reflection of their undemocratic mindset. The PTI chief said that equating the factual coverage of the Punjab Police and “PML-N goons” brutality to the unsubstantiated allegations against the ISI by Geo is a massive abuse of state power, and not only an absurdity but a travesty of justice. “That ARY had led the critique against Geo and its owner has not gone unnoticed in the vengeful banning of the ARY channel when the government fully allowed the 8-hour uninterrupted targeting of ISI on Geo,” he said.
“This vengeful undemocratic behaviour of the Sharifs must end, and to this end the PTI will continue its struggle to strengthen democracy by exposing this behaviour, including in electoral rigging, through its protests and procession,” the PTI chief said. He concluded by saying that in any truly democratic and accountable system the chief minister would have resigned after what happened in Model Town, Lahore. “That Shahbaz Sharif has not done so and is instead pursuing a vengeful track is shameful indeed.”
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