Asad Umar says govt is afraid of Imran Khan’s ‘historic protests’

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Asad Umar

Islamabad: PTI secretary-general and former federal minister Asad Umar criticized the current government for interrupting PTI’s preparation at the CTI ground in Sialkot and arresting Usman Dar and said that the government was frightened by Imran Khan’s historic public gatherings.

Following the interruption of the protest arrangements by the police, the subsequent baton charge on the PTI workers, and the arrest of its leader Usman Dar, Asad Umar said that the nation was no longer afraid of such behaviour.

In a tweet, Asad Umar called Sialkot to be ready and said that Imran Khan would come despite all these measures.

Earlier, police interrupted the arrangements of PTI at the local CTI ground and arrested Usman Dar along with other party workers.

Sialkot District Police Officer (DPO) Hasan Iqbal, who was present at the site, told reporters that the local Christian community had objected to holding a rally at the ground, saying that it was their property.

“As you know, we are right now standing on a ground that belongs to the Christian community. They had filed a writ [petition] in the high court, asking that no political rally be held on the grounds,” Iqbal said, adding that the high court then directed the Sialkot deputy commissioner to listen to both parties and decide accordingly.

“Leaders of the political party and representatives of the Christian community came yesterday, and the former acknowledged that the ground belonged to the Christian community,” the DPO said.

He added that the “political party’s leaders” sought permission to hold the rally, but the Christian community had refused.

He said the deputy commissioner had also provided alternatives for holding the rally.

“We made it clear that we are not against any political activity. Holding a rally is a legal and constitutional right. But forcibly holding a rally on a property belonging to a minority community without any due process would be inappropriate,” DPO Iqbal said.

“Then we came here and told them that we can help you concerning an alternative venue. What has happened after that is there for you to see.”
He said it was “not our mandate to make arrests or stop the rally”.

“Our mandate is to implement the deputy commissioner’s directives, which were made according to the law, after the high court’s order.”

To a question about containers being placed to block roads, the DPO said it was the “political party” that had requested space for parking. “We have not blocked any roads,” he maintained.

Read: Can Imran Khan return? | By Naveed Aman Khan

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