Has govt decided to ban PTI?

Pakistan interior minister Rana Sanuallah has said that the Shehbaz Sharif led government is planning to consult experts to start the process of declaring Imran Khan’s political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) a “proscribed” outfit claiming that the police seized weapons and petrol bombs from the former premier’s residence in Lahore.

The police reached Imran Khan’s house when he travelled from Lahore to Islamabad to attend a court hearing. While Imran Khan was in Islamabad, over 10,000 armed Punjab police personnel entered his residence and arrested dozens of his supporters.

Interior minister Sanuallah said, “Terrorists were hiding in Zaman Park. Weapons, petrol bombs, etc have been recovered from the residence of Imran Khan which is enough evidence to file a case against the PTI for being a militant organisation.”

“Primarily it is a judicial process to declare any party proscribed. However, we will consult our legal team on the issue,” he added.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said, “If anyone had any doubt, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Niazi’s antics of the last few days laid bare his fascist and militant tendencies” while Maryam Nawaz Sharif said, “I wonder if he calls himself a politician. Politicians are not afraid of going to jail and accountability. Only thieves and terrorists do. Fear of arrest shows cases against him (Imran) are genuine.”

“He is a coward as he left the court without marking his attendance,” she added.

It should be noted that according to Section 212 of the Election Act 2017 and Article 17(2) of the Pakistani Constitution, which concerns the dissolution of a political party, the government is formally required to make a proper reference to the Supreme Court within 15 days after making the declaration against the concerned party. This means that the apex court is the final arbiter.

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