Sunday December 04, 2022

PTI long march: Punjab govt to follow Imran’s instructions, says Elahi

October 07, 2022

LONDON/LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister on Thursday, talking about Imran Khan’s long march, said the Punjab government would follow whatever instructions Imran Khan would give.

Reacting to Punjab Interior Minister Hashim Dogar’s statement that the Punjab government will not support Imran Khan’s long-march call on Islamabad, Elahi said that he will see how the situation evolves and a decision will be made accordingly.

Elahi said that Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah will have nowhere to hide if former prime minister Imran Khan gives a long march call. He said that there is a PTI government in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir and Sanaullah would not be able to find a place to hide in Islamabad if Imran Khan’s supporters would converge on the federal capital as part of his Haqiqi Azadi movement.

Elahi said that a high-level team was working on the Model Town case while Sanaullah’s confessional statement on the floor of the Punjab Assembly will also be provided to the court as evidence. He said a high-profile team has been formed to pursue the Model Town case against Sanaullah.

Earlier, Punjab Home Minister Hashim Dogar said the provincial government will not become a part of Imran Khan’s long march as it was a political issue. The home minister said, “If Imran Khan announces a long march, the Punjab government will not become a part of it. We will not facilitate the participants of the long march but security will be provided.”

The statement from the Punjab home minister came after PTI Chairman Imran Khan directed his party’s office holders to ensure that thousands of workers gather in Islamabad during the “Azadi March”.

It is pertinent to mention here that Khan’s directions came during a meeting with several district heads of Punjab, including Gujranwala, Narowal, Hafizabad, Mandi Bahauddin and Gujrat. Earlier, the PTI chairman told local leaders that 6,000 workers should come to the capital from Gujranwala, the same number from Sialkot and Gujrat, 5,000 from Mandi Bahauddin and 4,000 each from Hafizabad and Narowal.

The provincial government will not use the state machinery for Khan’s long march as it is a “political march”, said the home minister. Responding to the issue of alleged violence against PTI leader Shahbaz Gill during police custody, Dogar said, “I still stand by my point that he was not subjected to torture. The matter is in court, let’s see what happens.”

Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi said he is not in London to meet anyone from the Sharif family and doesn’t entertain a desire to do so. Speaking to Geo News in London, the Punjab chief minister said his visit to London is private and there will be no political meetings.

“I am in London for around a week on break. I am not meeting Nawaz Sharif or anyone else. I have come here to meet the family of Moonis Elahi,” he said.

Pervaiz Elahi said he had known the Sharifs for long and “after spending a lot of time, one should learn and I know a lot about them. I don’t want to meet them”.

He complained that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had not given a penny to the Punjab government for floods in Rajanpur. “Thankfully, Imran Khan did a telethon and we raised money for the flood victims which we are distributing through the Ehsaas programme. Now many donors are in touch with us directly.”

The Punjab CM added that he had introduced a new narcotics law to prevent the use of drugs among youngsters. He said the Punjab government was preparing a special force for this purpose.

“We will hold owners of colleges and universities responsible if strict action is not taken. “We will have recently retired commandos and police officers in the force who will be deployed at educational institution to stop sale and use of drugs such as ice. We will bring lifetime sentences for drug peddlers.”

Elahi said he had met the US ambassador and World Bank delegation recently and they assured the Punjab government of support. The Punjab chief minister assured that he will ask the Lahore Police to arrest the killers of the parents of two British Pakistani brothers, Syed Ali Junaid and Syed Umair.

Syed Anees-ud-Din, 70, and his wife Nasira Bibi, 60, were killed by unknown assassins in the late evening of May 9, 2021 at their home and the family have complained that the Lahore Police have done nothing to arrest the killers despite the fact that the family provided CCTV footage of a suspicious car from the locality. Syed Ali Junaid and Syed Umair have made several appeals but the police have taken no action against the suspects. Elahi said he will make sure that the killers are brought to justice.