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Sunday, May 26, 2024

PTI Workers’ Conventions Face Crackdown: Calls for ECP’s Intervention

As PTI faces challenges on multiple fronts, the party initiated a legal battle by filing a case in the Peshawar High Court seeking permission to hold workers' conventions.

The political landscape in Pakistan witnessed intensified clashes and arrests as activists of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) organized workers’ conventions in various districts. In Swat and Upper Dir, the police cracked down on PTI activists, leading to scores of arrests.

Official sources reported that approximately 60 PTI workers were detained in connection with a recent party convention in Upper Dir, while the party claimed the arrest of around 200 activists in Swat. Despite the challenges, PTI continued its political activities, holding conventions in Karak, Swat, and Abbottabad on Sunday.

In Karak, the PTI chapter faced roadblocks set up by the police, preventing senior vice president Sher Afzal Marwat from attending the convention. Undeterred, PTI activists convened at the residence of a local leader, Khurshid Khattak, raising slogans in support of party chairman Imran Khan.

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Marwat addressed the workers virtually, emphasizing the alleged obstacles hindering PTI’s election campaign. The confrontations underscored the determination of PTI activists to overcome restrictions imposed by local authorities.

PTI Urges Election Commission to Ensure Fair Play Amidst Ongoing Suppression

PTI called on the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to intervene and guarantee a fair electoral environment for all political parties. The party highlighted its supporters’ injuries during a clash with the police in the Sahibabad area and lamented ongoing oppression despite the chief election commissioner’s letters urging a “level playing field.”

PTI spokespersons emphasized the need for practical and effective measures to address the challenges faced by the party, expressing concern about alleged attempts to exclude PTI from the electoral race.

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The party also drew attention to restrictions on PTI’s political activities, including limitations on media coverage of its leaders, notably Imran Khan. PTI accused the state of forcing its workers to leave the party through enforced disappearances and stressed the urgency of the Election Commission’s concrete actions to address the crisis.

The confrontation with the police in Sahibabad, where both sides sustained injuries, further intensified PTI’s call for fair play and highlighted the party’s determination to confront adversity.

As PTI faces challenges on multiple fronts, the party initiated a legal battle by filing a case in the Peshawar High Court seeking permission to hold workers’ conventions. The court warned of summoning the caretaker chief minister and chief election commissioner if PTI’s political activities continue to face restrictions in the province.

PTI Vice Chairman Sher Afzal Marwat, addressing supporters after the clash, criticized the perceived double standards in allowing other parties to hold conventions while limiting PTI. Marwat declared the day of the general elections, February 8, as a “day of reckoning and accountability,” expressing the party’s resolve in the face of adversity and condemning the alleged firing at the PTI workers’ convention.