Imran Khan’s party says candidates kidnapped, harassed
Beleaguered Khan, the PTI, its leaders, and candidates backed by the party have constantly faced hurdles ahead of the February 8 general elections
Imran Khan of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice) speaks to the media after casting his vote at a polling station during the general election in Islamabad on July 25, 2018 (Photo credit AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)
The political party led by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan alleged on Friday (19) that Pakistani intelligence agencies are engaging in the overt abduction and harassment of candidates supported by the party in the run-up to the general elections scheduled for February 8.
A spokesperson of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party said that former lawmaker and PTI-backed candidate Khayal Ahmad Kastro from Faisalabad, some 130 km from Lahore, was allegedly abducted by the personnel from the intelligence agencies.
“Mr Kastro was abducted in full view of camera outside a district court in Faisalabad by plain clothes persons,” the PTI spokesperson said.
PTI secretary general Omar Ayub said, Kastro was abducted by unknown people in broad daylight “even after securing bail from the court, which is highly condemnable.”
Beleaguered Khan, the PTI, its leaders, and candidates backed by the party have constantly faced hurdles ahead of the February 8 general elections.
The party has lost its election symbol of ‘bat’ and nomination papers of Khan and other prominent leaders have been rejected by the election commission.
Khan and many other leaders are in Adiala Jail at Rawalpindi facing multiple cases.
After Friday’s alleged abduction, the party claimed that with this kind of situation, the troubles for party-backed candidates are not over despite being contesting independently.
“There is no justice or rule of law in Pakistan as the PTI candidate was abducted outside the court. There is no level playing field for the PTI,” he said and added, that the state is using every fascist tactic to keep the PTI out of polls.
The PTI-backed candidates are also not being allowed to run an election campaign as police and agencies pick up those who launch any political activity in the constituency, he said.
After the PTI was deprived of its iconic symbol of the cricket bat by the three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa for not holding intra-party elections as per law, PTI supremo Khan had accused CJP Isa of playing at the hands of the military establishment to benefit Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) founder Nawaz Sharif by ousting his party from upcoming polls.