ISLAMABAD: PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday condemned the violence and ruckus that took place in the Punjab Assembly one day prior and said that such an act was against the prescribed norms of democracy and the Constitution.
Taking to Twitter, the PTI chairman wrote: “What happened in Punjab Assembly was condemnable & against all democratic norms and constitutional provisions. No one was in the Chair conducting the supposed elections — a total violation of all norms. We reject this sham mafia-captured “elections”.
The assembly session was scheduled to start at 11:30am on Saturday. However, it was delayed as PTI and PML-Q lawmakers resorted to violence.
At least three PTI members of the Punjab Assembly were arrested for attacking Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari as the party boycotted the session to elect the new chief minister.
They attacked the deputy speaker and pulled his hair despite the presence of security guards. The deputy speaker left the hall after this and the session was delayed.
Before assaulting Mazari, the PTI lawmakers caused a ruckus when they brought “lotas” to the house and started chanting “lota, lota” (turncoats) as they lashed out at the dissident PTI MPAs who parted ways with the party and decided to support the Opposition before the ouster of Imran Khan.
As the situation got intense and requests were made for the police to control the situation, the anti-riot force personnel entered the assembly wearing bulletproof jackets and arrested the PTI MPAs.
The police entered the premises of the Punjab Assembly through the old building and took control of the situation.
Amid the ruckus, Elahi, who was a candidate for chief minister, was also not spared as well and became a target of the violence in the assembly that left him injured.
“They have rewarded me well in return for my goodness,” said Elahi, who got his hand bandaged after he was injured during the ruckus.
“Has this ever happened to any speaker before,” asked the PML-Q leader, adding that everything was pre-planned.
They crossed all lines today trying to manhandle me in an attempt to “finish me”, he said.
Elahi said that the courts are not for the poor and he will ask for justice from God.
“Whatever happened today in the assembly is to be blamed on Deputy Speaker Mazari,” he claimed. The PML-Q leader further said that the deputy speaker brought the violence upon himself.
“Who will accept their voting,” asked Elahi. He alleged that the members of the government were “dictators” and “real enemies of democracy”.
Amid the ruckus, PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz was elected as the chief minister of Punjab. Hamza was elected as the new chief minister with 197 votes. While his rival, Pervez Elahi, did not receive any votes as his party and PTI had boycotted the polls.
Addresses public meeting in Karachi
PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday asked his supporters at a political power show in Karachi if his now dissolved government was up against a foreign “conspiracy” or mere “interference” in what was an indirect reference to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Babar’s recent remarks that had jolted the former prime minister’s political narrative.
The DG ISPR on Thursday said that the word “conspiracy” was not used in the statement issued after a meeting of the National Security Committee last month, instead saying that the demarche was issued for the use of “undiplomatic language” which he said “is equal to interference”.
Khan, while addressing a much-anticipated rally at Karachi’s Bagh-i-Jinnah on Saturday, touched upon Maj Gen Iftikhar’s differentiation between the two terminologies and asked his audience what they thought of it but did not critique the military man’s assessment.
“Karachi, I thank you from my heart,” Khan said in his opening remarks in the port city. “I’ve come to talk some very special things because the problem is of your and your children’s future. This conspiracy against our country … I want you to carefully listen … was it a conspiracy or an interference? Raise your hands and tell me if it was an interference or a conspiracy.
“There was a conspiracy against this country at a very vast international scale,” he said as he explained his political philosophy while dealing with foreign affairs.
“I want to tell the nation that I’ve never been against any country. I’m not anti-India, anti-Europe or anti-US. I’m with the humanity of the world. I’m not against any nation. I want friendship with everyone but slavery with no one.”
Khan claimed that he came to know three to four months back that the turncoats who eventually left his party as well as some journalists had started having meetings at the US embassy. “A journalist told me that ‘a lot of money is being spent on us’. Thus, the conspiracy had been in the works for a while and then our US ambassador meets Donald Lu.”
He repeated his grievance against the judiciary, asking what crime had he committed that they felt the need to open courts last Saturday at midnight.