ISLAMABAD: Days after a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf activist was killed at a rally in Faisalabad, PTI chairman Imran Khan said police had already arrested the shooter responsible for the killing and feared he would be killed by the police in an ‘encounter’.
“The man who was seen shooting at the crowd in TV footage is in police custody and we fear he will be killed,” Imran said, while addressing the media in Bani Gala.
Twenty-three-year-old Haq Nawaz was shot dead allegedly by an unidentified Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) worker during the Faisalabad rally.
However, PML-N leader denied having any links with the shooter who was identified by the media as Shahid Ali. Conflicting reports also identified him as Nadeem Mughal, who is a PML-N worker.
Accusing the government of registering FIRs against the “wrong” people and not against those responsible, Imran said the government had committed perjury in this regard.
Faisalabad police registered an FIR against 250 unidentified Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers on Tuesday following Monday’s violent protests.
Lashing out at people blaming him for the death of the activist, Imran said, “I read people’s statements that said I want to play politics on dead bodies … all I want to say is that the people saying this are intellectually corrupt.”
Addressing the issue of dialogue with the government, Imran said, “In principle, we should not talk to the government.”
At this, PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the PTI would not agree to “conditional talks” with the government.
Earlier, The Express Tribune learnt Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would deliberate with the senior leadership of his party and heads of various political parties on setting an agenda for talks with the PTI.
The PTI chief continued: “We want to continue talks at the point where they broke off from.”
Further, shifting his focus to an election tribunal’s short order to call for the opening of voting bags in NA-122 — the constituency where Imran has alleged rigging — the PTI chief said, “It took over a year for the election tribunal to order opening of ballot bags in NA-122 because National Assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq was hiding behind stay orders.”
“If there was no rigging and Sardar Ayaz Sadiq had won, then there was no need to hide behind stay orders,” he alleged.
Further, he said the nation will find out whether rigging was carried out in the constituency only if Sadiq does not call for another stay order.
Questioning once again why the government fears opening ballots in the four constituencies where he has alleged rigging, Imran said, “The ANP has alleged rigging in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and we will gladly open ballots there to prove there was no rigging.”