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Tuesday February 27, 2024

PTI to launch Jail Bharo movement if polls delayed past constitutional deadline

Delaying polls will be violation of Constitution and invoke Article 6, PTI chief warns

By Web Desk
February 06, 2023
PTI Chairman Imran Khan speaks during a video message from Lahore, released on February 6, 2023. — Twitter/@PTIOfficial
PTI Chairman Imran Khan speaks during a video message from Lahore, released on February 6, 2023. — Twitter/@PTIOfficial

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has said that if the polls in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) are delayed past the constitutional deadline of 90 days, then his party would start the Jail Bharo movement.

In a video message, Khan said: "Not announcing the election schedule is a direct violation of the Constitution. It is clearly stated that polls should be held in 90 days."

The Punjab and KP assemblies were dissolved last month at intervals, however, the dates for elections in both provinces have not been issued by the governors, drawing severe criticism from the PTI.

Gearing up his workers for his party’s new campaign to pressurise the Pakistan Democratic Movement-led government in the centre, the PTI chief urged them to register themselves with PTI’s district presidents, so that the movement can be started in cities across Pakistan.

“I want the volunteers to get their registration done first and then I’ll announce the date on which we will begin the Jail Bharo movement. This will happen in a few days which is why I want volunteers to come forward,” he said.

He added that through this campaign, his party will be able to acquire "haqeeqi azadi (true freedom)" and true democracy.

Khan, in his address, said the economic crisis in Pakistan at present is unprecedented. He added that common people have never witnessed the extent of inflation and unemployment which the country is currently going through.

“Considering how terrible the country’s economic situation is and because we have never resorted to disruption in our 26 years of politics, the Jail Bharo movement is a peaceful way to protest [against it],” the PTI chief said.

“It’s been 25 days and no date for the election has been given. Article 6 will be applied to those who postpone the elections beyond the Constitutional term,” he said.

Khan also highlighted that his party decided to dissolve the two assemblies as the country was going through instability. “Governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were dissolved under the Constitution.”

The deposed prime minister, who was ousted from office due to a vote of no-confidence last April, also slammed the federal government for "running away" from Islamabad’s local body elections.

“The court ordered for the elections to be held within 48 hours. It’s been a month but polls aren’t taking place,” the PTI chief deplored.

Informing his supporters and the nation about his decision to announce the Jail Bharo movement, the former premier said: “Nations are governed by law, while the constitution decides what is legal and illegal. The nation is losing confidence in the Constitution and law.”

He added that the Constitution and law have been flouted ever since the "imported government" came into power. “I told their handlers that if the [PTI] government was overthrown by conspiracy, then they wouldn’t be able to handle the situation.”

Khan added the circumstances are such that the police and state don’t even listen to court orders, and people are being “picked up” and “tortured”.

The PTI chief's comments came in connection to the arrests made and cases filed against his party’s members. Sedition cases have been filed against PTI Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry and former member of the National Assembly Shandana Gulzar, while Senator Azam Swati and Shahbaz Gill were earlier booked for speaking against the military.