April 15th, 2022
By Hamid Riaz
DIG operations Lahore has submitted his response to the Lahore High Court (LHC) in a bizarre case filed by PTI’s former Punjab Ministry for Forestry, Sardar Sibtain Ali Khan. In the petition, Sardar Sibtain called on the court to ‘recover’ dissident MPAs from his party who he claims have been kidnapped and are being held against their will by PML-N supremo Hamza Shehbaz in a hotel in Lahore’s Gulberg area.
“The police has not received complaints of the kidnapping of any PTI MNA from any corner in Lahore,” says the DIG report. “Moreover, the police department was able to get in touch with two out of the four MPAs highlighted in the petition, but they confirmed that they were in fact free and roaming around without any threats.” said the DIG’s report. According to the police if such a complaint is received then the department will obviously spring into action and recover the lawmakers.
The other lawmakers named in the petition have also separately denied any claims of their disappearance.
“I can assure you that I am perfectly fine. And as far as I am aware, the others mentioned in (Sardar Sibtain’s) petition are also completely free and going about their lives,” says Uzma Kardar, a dissident PTI MNA, selected on a women’s reserved seat as well as one of the named lawmakers.
“And honestly, I do not know what the PTI is trying to achieve through petitions like these,” she says.
She then opens up without mincing any words.
“The truth of the matter is that I no longer agree with the policies of my former party. Mr. Imran Khan taught us to respect the constitution and the rule of law, no matter what. Now he is himself making a mockery of the constitution and that is why I dissented in the first place,” explains Uzma.
Meanwhile, sources close to Sardar Sibtain Khan told Voicepk that it was not the former minister’s personal wish to file the petition.
“But since he is the leader of PTI’s parliamentary party in Punjab and close to Imran Khan because of his immense support in Mianwali, he has to take the onus of the party’s policy decisions in the province,” he explains.
Explaining why PTI filed a kidnapping petition instead of a defection one he explains that “These people are living an unnatural lifestyle. They are not living in their homes. And we feel like they have somehow sold their freedom. This is why we filed a petition asking for their recovery.”
The context behind this bizarre set of events remains clear as ever, as on Saturday April 16, the Punjab Assembly is all set to hold voting for the in-house election of the province’s new Chief Minister.
Former speaker Pervaiz Ilahi being supported by the ruling PTI and PML-N’s Hamza being backed by the united opposition in alliance with disgruntled members of the ruling party.
Formerly PTI had postponed voting by repeatedly adjourning sessions of the PA. In response, the opposition had filed a no-confidence motion against the speaker of the PA while the government has filed a no-confidence motion against the deputy speaker. The dispute was finally resolved by the Lahore High Court and the above-mentioned date was set for voting.