Pakistan ruling coalition hints at banning PTI

by IANS |

Islamabad, March 21 (IANS) Pakistan's ruling coalition has hinted at banning Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), as the government claims that the party has become a terrorist outfit after its involvement in attacking state institutions, including the army, judiciary, and law-enforcement agencies.

The coalition government condemned the attacks carried out allegedly on the orders of Khan on police and Rangers, who were implementing court orders when they went to his Zaman Park residence in Lahore and when the former Prime Minister came along with his supporters to a court in Islamabad the other day, The Express Tribune reported.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led ruling alliance held a six-hour-long huddle with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair.

The meeting was attended by leaders of the coalition parties and federal ministers.

An official statement issued following the meeting stated that a joint session of Parliament had been called on March 22 for taking important decisions to ensure the writ of the state.

The meeting also strongly condemned a social media campaign being run from abroad against the state institutions, especially against Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Asim Munir, and asked the overseas Pakistanis not to be a part of this "sinister agenda", The Express Tribune reported.

The condemnation come hours after Prime Minister Sharif, in a tweet, accused his predecessor of "damaging the country and undermining our armed forces and their leadership" and stressed the need for rejecting his political rival's "agenda", The Express Tribune reported.

"PTI's disgusting smear campaign against Chief of the Army Staff General Asim Munir at the behest of Imran Niazi is deserving of the strongest condemnation," Sharif tweeted.

The alliance leaders expressed concerns over the treatment meted out to the PTI chairman by the courts, saying: "The treatment of Imran Khan and his colleagues is deepening the impression that the scales of justice are not equal."

The official statement declared that "two standards of justice in one country are not acceptable".

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