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Yasmin Rashid allegedly urges President Alvi to intervene in Zaman Park fiasco

"Before bloodshed takes place, I think you need to talk to someone and intervene," says PTI leader

By Web Desk
March 15, 2023
Representational image.
Representational image.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Yasmin Rashid told President Arif Alvi to "talk to someone before any bloodshed takes place" regarding the police operation at Zaman Park — PTI chief Imran Khan's residence in Lahore — in an alleged audio that surfaced Wednesday.

This latest audio leak comes after police had withdrawn from outside Zaman Park as the law and order situation in the Punjab capital city worsened following the operation that continued for more than 20 hours.

The police on Monday attempted to arrest Khan as per the orders of an Islamabad court, which had directed the authorities to present the former prime minister before it in the Toshakhana case. 

At least 54 police personnel were injured in clashes with the PTI workers during the operation.

In the leaked audio — the second one today — a woman, believed to be Yasmin Rashid, could be heard allegedly telling President Alvi about the deteriorating situation outside Zaman Park.

During the phone call, Rashid purportedly asked the president to talk to someone as the situation is getting out of control and could lead to the deaths of several workers and policemen.

“The party workers have started throwing Molotov cocktails and the situation is very bad. I need you to talk to someone before any bloodshed takes place," she could be heard in the leaked audio clip.

Transcript of alleged conversation

Rashid: Sir, the situation is very bad here.

Dr Alvi: Yes, absolutely.

Rashid: Our workers have started throwing Molotov cocktails. Before bloodshed takes place, I think you need to talk to someone and intervene.

Dr Alvi: I have talked.

Rashid: You should tell him that you will talk to him and try to sort... to Khan sahab.

Dr Alvi: I don't understand what you're saying.

Rashid: Sir, the situation right now is that people may die, some policemen will be killed. The situation will worsen so much that the elections will be postponed. This was our purpose.

Dr Alvi: Okay.

Rashid: I think what you need to do is, tell him [Khan sahab], that he should give in and fight another day. This is what I think and the rest is up to you. He will not give up. The Rangers are there. Molotov cocktails are being thrown and their water canon was also set ablaze. Also, I am sitting outside intentionally.

Dr Alvi: Ok, let me consult with Asad [Umar] as well.

Rashid: Asad told me that I should not do anything. He and I are sitting outside. It's my opinion that you should also speak to Shah sahab [Shah Mahmood Qureshi] as he is with Khan sahab.

'Reach Zaman Park if you want PTI ticket'

Earlier today, an audio leak, purportedly featuring PTI leaders Yasmin Rashid and Brigadier (retd) Ijaz Ahmad Shah, surfaced regarding the ongoing police operation in Zaman Park.

During the phone call, Rashid could be heard instructing the former interior minister to direct party workers to reach Zaman Park, or they will not be given a party ticket.

At this, Shah says that he is informing the party workers.

Here is the transcript of the conversation:

Yasmin: Right now, Khan sahab has said to call all the MNAs and MPAs...

Ijaz: We are doing it... I am doing it.

Yasmin: He is saying that they should come along with men. Tell them on my behalf, if someone fails to show up, they won't be given a ticket. Khan sahab has directly said this.

Yasmin Rashid's verification

Rashid, while verifying the authenticity of the audio leak, said that there was nothing controversial in it.

"I am the party's president, will I not call on my people?" she asked.

The PTI leader added that it has been 23 hours and the party workers on the roads are being subjected to violence and shelling.