Answering the call: PTI supporters continue arriving at Bani Gala

Senior party leaders present at former premier's house; call to workers, supporters to protest arrest

Our Correspondent August 22, 2022


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers and supporters on Monday continued flocking to Bani Gala, the residence of PTI chief Imran Khan, after he was booked under terrorism charges.

Leaders of the PTI had asked party workers and supporters to take to the streets to protest the possible arrest of the former premier.

PTI supporters carried PTI flags and chanted slogans in support of Imran.

Several PTI bigwigs were also present at Imran’s residence in Bani Gala.

Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and his son Moonis Elahi arrived in Bani Gala on Monday morning and met with Imran at his residence.

Talking to the media, Senator Faisal Javed urged PTI supporters to make their way to Bani Gala, adding that families including young children and elderly people had been at Bani Gala since Sunday night.

He requested that more people join those already present to boost the morale of the supporters currently present outside Imran’s residence.

“Together we can achieve Haqeeqi Azadi [true freedom],” Senator Javed said.

According to the senator, the fight for true freedom had entered its decisive stage and reminded PTI supporters that Imran had vowed to never bow before anyone but the Almighty.

“Just as Imran Khan has never disappointed the nation, the nation has also never disappointed Imran Khan,” Faisal said.

He added that the actions of the incumbent coalition government suggested that the “imported government was frightened”.

PTI's Farrukh Habib also lead a convoy of party supporters from Faisalabad to Bani Gala.

The call was given after PTI chairman Imran was booked in a terrorism case on the complaint of Islamabad Saddar Magistrate Ali Javed for allegedly threatening the additional sessions judge of the federal capital, Zeba Chaudhry.

The first information report (FIR) was lodged with the Margalla police station at 10 pm on Saturday, following a speech of Imran Khan at the PTI rally in F9 Park. The FIR also carries Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The FIR was lodged hours before another Islamabad police station received a written complaint from a resident of G-11/2 for lodging a case against Imran over making hate speeches, and inciting rebellion against the army, police and judiciary.

Read Govt, allies want PTI chief penalised for ‘hurling threats'

The FIR lodged by the Margalla police said that the PTI chief threatened the additional sessions judge of Islamabad with a view to terrorise the high officials of the police and the judiciary, so that they could not fulfil their duties and refrain from taking action against the PTI due to fear of Imran.

Senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry in a tweet also asked workers to reach Imran’s Bani Gala residence, saying still dozens of workers were already present. “[..] in few hours thousands of people will be in Bani Gala InshaAllah,” he added.

Party Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, while speaking to the media, told party activists to remain prepared and wait for the party’s call for protest in case of Imran’s arrest.

He said they had concerns that the coalition government was planning to arrest the party chief saying, “Imran is our red line and conspirators will have to face consequences”.

Imran files for pre-arrest bail

Meanwhile, PTI chairperson Imran Khan filed an application for pre-arrest bail in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) after he was charged with terrorism for threatening an additional sessions court judge.

The pre-arrest bail application, filed by lawyers Babar Awan and Faisal Chaudhry, maintained that Imran had no past criminal record.

The court granted the PTI chairman pre-arrest bail till Aug 25.


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