Following allegations of rights abuses by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said that its chairman Imran Khan “presides over a disinformation apparatus that deploys fake news methodically to fool the people”.
“Make no mistake about the evil intent behind Imran Niazi’s latest ploy to defame our law enforcement agencies and police. Yet again he is making misleading and baseless allegations of the “rights abuses” just to distract attention for his culpability in the tragic events of May 9,” the premier wrote on his official Twitter handle.
PM Shehbaz, who is also the president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), also said that he was “not surprised” by the former prime minister’s “antics”.
He added that the PTI chief was “capable of going to any extreme” as he “persistently” uses “foul language against the state institutions, incite[s] people to violence and attack[s] the state symbols and military installations & bring[s] down martyrs’ monuments”.
The prime minister went on to write in the tweet: “He [Khan] presides over a disinformation apparatus that deploys fake news methodically to fool the people. Everything about him is hate, division and lie.”
A crackdown has been launched against PTI following the arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan from the Islamabad High Court’s premises.
Khan’s arrest last month sparked days of street protests after which the PTI leaders’ exodus started, as security forces launched a crackdown against the party following the attacks on civil and military institutions, including the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and the Lahore Corps Commander’s House (Jinnah House). At least eight people were killed in the violent protests almost across the country.
Amid these arrests, an exchange of accusations began between the Imran Khan-led PTI and the federal government involving alleged “ill-treatment” of the party’s women workers and supporters during the custody.
The government has maintained that the PTI’s claims are unfounded.
Last week, in a late-night press conference, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that the PTI planned to highlight human rights violations in Pakistan on a global scale after orchestrating a simulated raid at a certain known party worker, involving a rape and casualties caused by gunfire.
The security czar said that intelligence agencies intercepted an audio clip that sheds light on a conspiracy hatched by the PTI to malign the country’s law-enforcement agencies.
Reacting to his presser, Imran Khan on Sunday said Sanaullah is “so obviously trying to cover up and preempt the horror stories about to break in the media.”
“If there were any doubts about women being mistreated in jails, this press conference from this certified criminal should remove all such doubts,” he wrote on Twitter.