August 12, 2022
ISLAMABAD – Former federal minister and PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday called the government’s attempts to “create a divide” between party chairman Imran Khan and the army as an “absurd” move, reiterating that the ex-premier had always worked for the prosperity of the country.
“Imran has clearly said that he does not have a penny abroad […] the person who has all the interests in Pakistan would always want the country’s army to strengthen,” he said.
The PTI leader’s statements come in response to the government’s allegations that Imran and his party members were spreading hate against the country’s institutions.
Earlier this week, Shahbaz Gill was also arrested on charges of sedition and inciting the public against state institutions.
At a press conference in Islamabad today, Chaudhry asserted that Pakistan’s progress was directly dependent on its army, clarifying that that was exactly what the PTI chairman also wanted.
“Whatever Imran Khan has done for the country, it is for the public and Pakistan’s public and army are not separate […] the army is a part of the people.”
Hence, he went on, all the efforts to create a divide were “absurd”. “And the way it has been executed is very disappointing,” the former minister said, adding that a new era of atrocities and barbarism had been launched in Pakistan.
“Women and children are being picked up,” he pointed out, referring to the recent arrest of the wife of Gill’s driver.
“We saw the director news of ARY News was taken late at night. He has young children […] now they are in trauma,” Chaudhry said. “They are forcing [people] to accept their government.
“But this can’t happen because the people will only accept those who they elect, not those who are imposed,” he added.
‘Astroturf at Lahore’s Hockey Ground not damaged’
Talking about PTI’s upcoming rally at Lahore’s Hockey Ground, Chaudhry clarified that the AstroTurf there was not being scrapped.
Earlier in the day, reports had been circulating that the AstroTurf in the stadium was being ripped apart for the party’s gathering on August 13, with a number of people criticising the move.
In his media talk today, the PTI leader said that the party had taken “full responsibility” to ensure that any part of the stadium was not damaged, including the AstroTurf, adding that replacing it was already a part of the government’s plan.
“They had wrecked it during Nawaz Sharif’s tenure and it has to be replaced anyway,” he said. “So we consulted with the Punjab government and reached the conclusion that a new astroturf will be laid in the ground.”
Chaudhry further went on that the PTI was incurring the expenses of the August 13 rally, confident that the gathering will show the love the people of Lahore had for the party and Imran.