Imran Khan's arrest to create huge public reaction: President Alvi

By: News Desk
Published: 06:10 PM, 26 Jan, 2023
Imran Khan's arrest to create huge public reaction: President Alvi
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President Arif Alvi believes that the government will be playing with fire if it resorts to arresting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.

The president’s statement comes after reports that the former premier may be arrested, following which, crowds of PTI workers reached his residence to protect him.

In a conversation with senior journalists on Thursday, the president, in response to a question about Khan's arrest by the incumbent government, said: "It will be tantamount to setting a fire (fuelling anarchy in the country)."

The president said that arresting the former primer minister or any senior politician would lead to "resistance", hinting at instability if the government tries to detain its opponents.

President Alvi stated that the ongoing situation would worsen with Imran's arrest, and the move should be avoided because severe public backlash would follow.

Alvi maintained that the “minus-one formula” had never succeeded in Pakistan.

Fawad, a former federal minister, was arrested from his Lahore residence in the wee hours of Wednesday after he publicly "threatened" the members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and their families in a media talk a day earlier.

He was then taken to Islamabad, where the capital's police were granted a two-day remand of the PTI leader in the sedition case. His arrest drew strong criticism within the federal government's ranks — which, although, has denied involvement.

The president stated that the PTI had not discussed the matter of party leader Fawad Chaudhry’s arrest with him, and added that relevant authorities should be ashamed of how Fawad was handcuffed.

President Alvi said that in the realm of political cooperation, no progress was made by the incumbent government in negotiations in the past month and a half.

“There are no negotiations at any level at this time,” he said, adding that Imran Khan was not averse to talks. Alvi maintained that he held the government responsible for the lack of negotiations.

The president also stated that he had no contact with the establishment and that the army had said it did not want to interfere in politics.

Alvi said currently, Pakistan needed its politicians to conduct dialogue and fill gaps themselves and that the two sides could at least talk about general elections, if not early polls.

He said that the statements of Fawad and other PTI leaders evidently showed that talks should be held.

Commenting on the potential vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Alvi said that he did not believe that the current premier would lose a vote of confidence in the National Assembly.

He also detailed that he held talks with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar but not the prime minister.

The president claimed that Pakistan would not default.