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    PTI announces ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek

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    Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), a major political party in Pakistan, has announced a court arrest movement called ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ after a series of sedition cases were filed against its leaders, including Fawad Chaudhry, Azam Swati, and Shahbaz Gill. The party’s Chairman, Imran Khan, announced the movement earlier this month after apparently running out of options to press the Pakistan Democratic Movement-led government to stop what the party claims are political victimization. PTI Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry announced that party leaders, including Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Asad Umar, had offered to surrender themselves along with 200 party workers on Wednesday to kickstart the movement. However, the party leadership has decided to move forward with a unanimous approach.

    In the wake of the sedition cases, PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced the ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ movement. Speaking about this, Fawad Chaudhry welcomed a statement reportedly issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that the body was “ready to hold elections in 90 days”. He called it a right step in the right direction. In the same breath, the PTI leader said that President Arif Alvi had set April 9 as the date for the general election in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He added that the date could not be changed as per the Election Act and the Constitution. However, this move was rejected by the ruling alliance.

    Moving towards the upcoming elections in the country, the PTI leader said that the party would start allocating tickets to the candidates from next week. The PTI’s election campaign will reach its peak when Khan will join it within one-and-a-half weeks. The PTI would launch a countrywide public awareness campaign, he added.

    Referring to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) notices to the PTI leadership in the Toshakhana scam, Fawad said that the anti-graft watchdog’s chairman had exposed the government by tendering his resignation. Earlier today, Aftab Sultan tendered his resignation as NAB chairman after reportedly refusing to “toe the line”. Speaking to Geo News, Sultan said that he had resigned from the office a few days ago. “I was asked to do certain things which were not acceptable to me.”

    Chaudhry said that Khan has directed the party to kickstart preparations for the upcoming elections. He urged the PTI’s candidates to launch election campaigns in their respective constituencies. Referring to Khan’s appearance before the Lahore High Court (LHC) a day earlier, Fawad said that the way the workers welcomed the PTI chairman had triggered uneasiness among the Pakistan Democratic Movement-led government.

    Meanwhile, Hammad Azhar, former economic minister, lambasted the government over the Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2023. A day earlier, the National Assembly unanimously approved the government’s much-needed ‘mini-budget’, which is mandatory for seeking a $1.1 billion tranche of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. Reacting to the move, Azhar said that the bill was bulldozed through the NA against the law and the Constitution. Slamming Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, the PTI leader said that he brought the country to the verge of economic collapse. He termed the IMF deal “a tactic to avoid default”. Azhar criticized the ruling alliance over rising inflation in the country.

    “Immediate elections are the sole solution to instability,” the PTI leader claimed and urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce a date for the polls.

    The PTI’s upcoming “Jail Bharo Tehreek” and preparations for the upcoming elections demonstrate the party’s determination to challenge the current government’s policies and practices. With the resignations of key officials, such as the NAB chairman, and the rising inflation and economic instability in the country, the PTI sees immediate elections as the solution to the current instability. The party has urged the Election Commission of Pakistan to announce a date for the polls and plans to allocate tickets to candidates starting next week. As the party’s campaign reaches its peak and Imran Khan joins it in the coming weeks, it remains to be seen how the government will respond to the PTI’s challenge.

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