PTI leaders protest over ‘not being allowed’ to meet jailed Imran Khan

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he Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Thursday said that they were not allowed to meet the party’s incarcerated founder Imran Khan in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail after they waited outside the facility for a few hours to see him.

Several PTI leaders, including Leader of the Opposition in Senate Shibli Faraz and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Omar Ayub, protested outside the jail after the prison’s meeting time was over.

“We are all united and there are no rifts among the party’s ranks and files. We are all on the same page,” said Senator Shibli while talking to the media outside Adiala Jail.

“We came to meet our leader in the jail. It’s our right to do so. We have been elected to the assemblies through elections, and we are loyal to our party,” he added.

Shibli’s remarks regarding rifts in the party came after Khan admitted to the presence of groups within the party. However, he refuted reports of any forward bloc within the PTI. There were no major differences within the party, the PTI founder had said, speaking to reporters in a courtroom at the Adiala facility yesterday.

In today’s media talk, Shibli stressed, “I am the leader of the Opposition in the Senate and Omar Ayub is the leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly. But we were forced to wait outside the jail. We were not allowed to even sit in the jail’s mosque.”

There are no differences among the party’s leaders, he said, adding: “We will not let anyone spread misinformation and create divisions among us.” He reiterated that the party would not be deterred by the propaganda of opponents and it would continue to work together for the betterment of the country.

Shibli said, “We have pledged allegiance to the party’s founder.”

False propaganda is being peddled through “rented spokespersons,” who highlight the rifts in the party, he alleged, terming it a conspiracy to stir up disruption in the party.

Omar Ayub, who exchanged harsh words with the security personnel standing guard outside the jail, said that the meeting with Imran Khan was scheduled, however, the party leaders were not allowed to meet him despite waiting outside the prison since 1pm.

Ayub, expressing his displeasure, said that a senior official told them that they (jail officials) had received orders to do so. “They (govt) believe that they can psychologically pressure us,” he said, adding that the meeting was scheduled as per judicial orders.

The PTI leader said that the party stood by Khan and would remain steadfast in doing so, adding, “We will make them answerable through a privilege motion in the National Assembly.”

“One thing is quite clear that we will not surrender to whatever they may do as we are the PTI founder’s soldiers and can do anything for him,” said PTI leader Shehryar Afridi, who also present outside the jail.

He said that opponents were trying to create divisions in the party.

Another party leader Shandana Gulzar asserted that the reports regarding the differences in the party are baseless, adding, “I would not have shown up if I had a difference of opinion.”

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