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EditorialEscalation of political temperatures

Escalation of political temperatures

Political temperatures are rising to the point of no return after the spate of exchange of cases between the Punjab government and the federal government. In a late-night development on Saturday, the Islamabad police registered a case under terrorism charges against PTI chairman Imran Khan on the complaint of magistrate Ali Javed for “terrorizing and threatening top police officials and a respected female additional sessions judge” in a public rally address in Islamabad. Side by side, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has minced no words in expressing his desire to arrest Imran Khan in the flurry of cases
registered against the PTI chairman. One may find a political aspect in Imran Khan’s speech, but Imran Khan should avoid threatening government officers who are performing their duties as per law or they have to follow the directions of the government of the day. The PTI should revisit the narrative being propagated by the party chairman, which has landed the party in serious trouble. But the game is not one-sided as the government should accept the mishandling of the Shahbaz Gill case, which, otherwise, could have been a strong case because of the ‘anti-state remarks’ by Mr Gill. One may remember the
similar threats to judges by Interior Rana Sanaullah when he was in the opposition a few months back.

Then the PTI government, however, chose to look to the other side, instead of taking action against him. This helped deescalate the situation. Since the institution of the case against Mr Gill, Imran Khan has played proactively against the government and the establishment. Now, he has added the judge and the police officials to his list.  The federal government dragged the Islamabad police into the political wrangling, forcing its police chief to issue a statement that anyone passing ’threats’ will face legal action. This is not the job of the police officers to respond to political rhetoric. Instead, they should work to
improve the working of the department. In this situation, the sane suggestion from PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry should be taken seriously. He calls for the formation of a probe committee, consisting of members of other political parties to look into the
case of the Shahbaz Gill torture allegations and to discuss the way forward. Similarly, the PTI should take the due course of law if it has complaints against the police officers and the judges. The party can get remedial justice from the Supreme Court if it thinks the lower judiciary overstepped in the case of Gill’s remand. The party has a good set of lawyers, who should advise Imran Khan on what not to speak. But the responsibility for gaining normalcy in the country falls on the government.

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