ISLAMABAD — As Pakistan’s political crisis deepens, the incumbent government is mulling a possible ban on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said on Wednesday, in light of the May 9 protests against arrest of party chief Imran Khan in the 190 million pounds settlement case, local media reported.
He, however, said that the matter will be referred to the Parliament for approval if the government finally decides to ban the former ruling party, Geo News reported.
The move comes days amid political instability in the country by Khan’s arrest on May 9 on corruption charges, before he walked free on bail as per court orders.
Responding to the leaders’ call for countrywide protests, the PTI workers and supporters took to the streets, but the demonstrations turned deadly as they attacked public and private property including military installations and buildings.
They also resorted to arson and set afire the Corp Commander House, also known as the Jinnah House, in Lahore.
The armed forces have, since then, resolved to try the arsonists and those involved in anti-state activities on the day of the protests under relevant laws, including the Pakistan Army Act and the Official Secrets Act.
“The PTI has attacked the very basis of the state, that never happened before. It can’t be tolerated”, Asif said while addressing a pre sser in Islamabad on Wednesday, Geo News reported.
“Is there a crime that didn’t happen on May 9?” he asked.
Asif said that the miscreants involved in the violent episode had nefarious motives.
Referring to the events that unfolded ahead of the no-confidence vote against Khan in April last year, Khawaja Asif said: “All the steps taken by Imran Khan after April 9 have cost him. We did not harm him. He is suffering due to his own actions.” — IANS