Experts condemn PTI's Dhaka Fall remarks, urge internal reforms

Political analysts term 1971 events a ‘red line’ that should not be crossed

Noman Awan May 30, 2024

Experts have unanimously condemned the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for its recent statement regarding the events of 1971, warning against undermining state institutions. They emphasised that 1971 is a "red line" that should not be crossed under any circumstances.

During the talk show “Experts” on Express News, Naveed Hussain, Chief Editor of The Express Tribune, criticised the persistent efforts to marginalise PTI over the past two and a half years, but asserted that this does not justify PTI's controversial statements.

He noted that while other political parties like PML-N and PPP have faced similar treatment, PTI's actions have crossed acceptable boundaries.

Hussain called for PTI to undergo internal purification, suggesting that any members contradicting party policy should be swiftly removed. He highlighted the importance of maintaining the integrity of state institutions and warned political opponents against unjust criticism of PTI.

He underscored the necessity for political parties to cease fostering bitterness and polarisation. He believes that further marginalising sidelined political figures could lead to chaos and prolonged political conflict, potentially driving the country towards a dead end.

Read more: PTI lawyers booked for assault on Khawar Maneka

Ayaz Khan, Group Editor of Daily Express, stated that while PTI's frustration is understandable, their statement regarding 1971 is unacceptable, equating it to "kicking a bomb."

He dismissed claims by PPP's Sharjeel Inam Memon that Imran Khan is operating from jail but contended that such statements would not be made without Khan's knowledge.

Khan expressed concern about the escalating political tensions, suggesting that further marginalising sidelined figures could lead to chaos. He urged political leaders to act prudently to avoid driving the country towards a dead end.

Also read: PTI moves LHC to reclaim ‘cricket bat’

He highlighted PML-N President Nawaz Sharif's cautious approach, particularly evident in his recent speech upon reclaiming the party presidency after six years. Khan advised politicians that there's still an opportunity to navigate current affairs with prudence.

Amir Ilyas Rana, Bureau Chief in Islamabad for Express News, underscored the contradiction between statements made by PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan and party spokesman Raoof Hasan.

Rana cited Hasan’s statement in which he compared former army chief General Agha Yahya with the current army chief, claiming that PTI is targeting the army chief and wants to instigate the army.

He also referred to Nawaz Sharif's speech in Gujranwala during Imran Khan's tenure, noting that following this speech, then prime minister Imran Khan labelled Nawaz Sharif a traitor.

Rana asserted that content from Imran Khan's X (formerly Twitter) handle is being circulated and utilised by PTI media for trolling purposes without deletion. He mentioned rumours that the handle is managed from outside Pakistan, although Imran Khan owns it.

Rana claimed that PTI's official media cell, led by Barrister Gohar and Raoof Hasan, holds responsibility. He questioned their ability to provide explanations while simultaneously engaging in similar activities.

He also advised Imran Khan to recognise that the military is not engaging directly with him and suggested mobilising the parliamentary team if there's any political advantage to be gained.

Faisal Husain, the Karachi Bureau Chief for Express News, differed with Rana, rejecting the notion that PTI has faced the most discrimination in the country. He firmly believes that no other party has endured as much abuse as Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London (MQM-L).

He believes that PTI continues to enjoy political freedom and is experiencing relief. Faisal observed that news regarding PTI dominates from 8am to 12pm, with court decisions consistently favouring PTI and the party openly lobbying across all institutions.

He emphasised that despite these factors, asserting that PTI has suffered the most abuse is akin to denying evident facts.

Express News Bureau Chief in Lahore, Mohammad Ilyas, believes that PTI's pattern is to issue statements, observe reactions, and then backtrack if faced with strong opposition. Referring to PTI's social media posts, Ilyas mentioned that when objections arise, they disown the statements, claiming they aren't official.

He advised PTI leaders to reconcile their differences. Regarding PTI's founder, Ilyas noted that while the party's workers and leaders were in conflict, Imran Khan initially refrained from interference but eventually made decisions autonomously.

He believes that the behaviour of PTI's founder remains consistent with the past. Ilyas emphasised the need for caution in rhetoric concerning the country's sensitive issues, noting that enemy countries find joy in such statements from PTI.


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