ISLAMABAD - PTI Chairman Imran Khan has once again demanded the resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in the wake of the death of 11 workers of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) in a firing incident by Punjab police in Lahore, saying the chief minister's complicity in the accident was evident.
In a statement issued by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Central Secretariat on Saturday, Khan said that the complicity of the chief minister in the Model Town action was evident from the hasty transfer of the Punjab inspector general of police (IGP) just before the police action commenced. And Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif must take responsibility for these killings, he added.
Khan pointed out that under his previous tenures too killings were part of routine police behaviour in Punjab with the police becoming notorious for extrajudicial killings including encounters. "As a result of making the Punjab police effectively a militant wing of PML-N, the force has lost all credibility amongst the citizens of the province," he said, adding that the ordinary citizens see it more as a force of terror than a protection against terror.
Khan said instead of showing remorse and resigning, the chief minister aided by his brother, the prime minister, has sought to go on a vengeful track through getting PEMRA to ban ARY for simply showing and exposing the worst kind of police atrocities that happened in Model Town against PAT workers. Khan felt this was yet another attempt by the Sharifs to silence their political opponents and was a reflection of the undemocratic mindset of Sharifs.
Khan reiterated that equating a factual coverage of Punjab police's brutality with ISI bashing for 8 hours straight by Geo TV with no evidence presented was not only an absurdity but also a travesty of justice.
This vengeful undemocratic behaviour of the Sharifs must end and to this end PTI will continue its struggle to strengthen democracy by exposing this behaviour, including electoral rigging, through its protests and rallies. Khan concluded by saying that in any truly democratic and accountable system the chief minister would have resigned after what happened in Model Town Lahore but Shahbaz Sharif has not done so and instead is pursuing a vengeful track that is shameful indeed.