ISLAMABAD, (MANEND NEWS): The government is considering banning former prime minister Imran Khan’s political party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said on Wednesday.
The move comes amid political instability in the nuclear-armed nation caused by Imran’s arrest on May 9 on corruption charges, before he was released on bail on court orders.
The embattled PTI chairperson, who says corruption charges have been concocted, is embroiled in a confrontation with the present government and state institutions.
“It is under consideration to ban PTI,” Asif told reporters. “The PTI has attacked the very basis of the state, that never happened before. It can’t be tolerated”.
Imran’s arrest sparked deadly protests across the country, with army establishments being attacked and state buildings set ablaze.
Rioters now face trials in military courts, while PTI leaders face repeated arrests and raids at their residences.
Moreover, in a confusing political situation marked by arrests, releases, and rearrests, the PTI leaders are seemingly caught in a revolving door as they continue to quit the party and politics, leaving people and pundits constantly perplexed.
It seems their spirits are being broken by a relentless cycle of arrests and rearrests from prison gates. It took five rearrests for senior PTI leader Dr Shireen Mazari to abandon her resilient spirit and leave the political stage on Tuesday evening.
The other significant departure from the PTI was former Punjab information minister Fayyazul Hasan Chohan, who announced his resignation from the party in an explosive news conference on the same day.
“Our party has been facing a crackdown really for one year,” said Imran, in an earlier interview with AFP.
“I was removed from power through this conspiracy by the ex-army chief.”
The former premier said the violence following was a “conspiracy” staged to justify the repression of his party.
More than 7,000 people were detained as the unrest broke out and at least 19 senior PTI officials were arrested, some in overnight raids on their homes, accused of instigating violence.
“This terrorism and mobbing was all pre-planned and this was done by Imran,” Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had rebutted.