Pak ex-PM Imran blames Punjab govt for covering party worker’s death, demands probe

PTI | Islamabad | Updated: 11-03-2023 22:09 IST | Created: 11-03-2023 22:09 IST
Pak ex-PM Imran blames Punjab govt for covering party worker’s death, demands probe

Pakistan's ex-premier Imran Khan on Saturday accused the Punjab caretaker government of covering up the death of one of his party workers and demanded a judicial probe into his killing.

Ali Bilal, also known as Zillay Shah, died, while several others were injured on March 8 as the Punjab government used force to block a rally staged to launch Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party's campaign for the April 30 elections in the province.

In his first televised address after the Lahore High Court revoked the ban on Khan's speeches, the PTI chairman hit back hard at the provincial authorities, terming the Punjab police as "savages" and saying that he could not believe "what they did to a special person (Bilal)".

"I'm hurt over his death," he was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.

"No one had ever spoken ill of him but the way he was tortured in custody is shameful," he said.

Khan also urged the Lahore High Court to constitute a judicial commission to probe the death of the PTI worker.

His remarks came hours after the police chief held a press conference alongside the caretaker chief minister Mohsin Naqvi.

Punjab Inspector General Dr Usman Anwar earlier on Saturday rejected allegations levelled by the PTI blaming the provincial administration for the alleged custodial killing of Bilal, insisting the incident was purely a road "accident case" which, he said, was "unfortunately misinterpreted" publicly.

Khan said there were at least 60 marks on Bilal's body, which he said was an indication that torture was inflicted on him, the report said.

Later in his speech, Khan announced that he will lead an election campaign rally in Lahore on Sunday and urged his supporters and workers to participate in face of the police brutality purportedly committed against the party.

Khan was ousted from power in April after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, which he alleged was part of a US-led conspiracy targeting him because of his independent foreign policy decisions on Russia, China, and Afghanistan.

Khan, who came to power in 2018, is the only Pakistani Prime Minister to be ousted in a no-confidence vote in Parliament.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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