Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Imran Khan's Courageous Act
Jamiat shoves Imran into police hands
Bid to mobilise Punjab University students foiled
By Khalid Khattak & Zubair Azam: The News, November 14, 2007
LAHORE: Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was arrested by police on Wednesday as he emerged from hiding to mobilise students' support at the Punjab University New Campus against the imposition of emergency.
Activists of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) student wing Islami Jamiat-e-Tulba and PU administration were instrumental in foiling the bid of the cricketer-turned politician to drum up some support for the anti-government protest.
Imran, attracting scores of charged students, was whisked away from the campus, manhandled and forcefully detained by the IJT activists inside the building of Centre for High Energy Physics (CHEP), before the PU administration handed him over to the police authorities outside the varsity premises.
Imran had announced to start the movement from the PU after strong assurance of IJT support from his ally (JI) in the All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM) Qazi Hussain Ahmed, chief patron of IJT and the head of JI and MMA.
In an eventful day, Imran's sudden appearance galvanised the protesting students into action who started to flock to the politician and chanting slogans of 'Go Musharraf Go'. The procession gained momentum and Imran was lifted onto the shoulders of the students then pushed inside CHEP building by IJT students.
IJT varsity head had earlier aired vibes of disapproval regarding Imran's decision to lead a student rally from the PU, stating Imran would not be welcome to the varsity. The protesting students and media flocked to the building in the morning while only some pro-IJT teachers were allowed to enter the premises by the students (IJT members).
The IJT, which had gathered support from other city institutions as well, also fired crackers around the building to disperse the swelling crowd of the students. Some supporters of Imran and students were brutally manhandled by the IJT members besides roughing up the foreign and local journalists who demanded that they should be allowed to talk with Imran.
The detention drama dragged on till 12:00 pm, for almost an hour, during which plain clothed security personnel also reached the spot. Later, a PU van (LRC-526) was brought to the entrance gate of the building and Imran was bundled into the vehicle.
The IJT activists made a protective chain around the van to stop journalists from interaction with Imran. Accompanied by two PU professors, Imran was taken to Gate No. 1, amid silent protest of students, where awaiting police team arrested Imran.
JI Information Secretary Amir-ul-Azeem, who appeared at the scene after Imran had been taken away, was brushed aside by IJT activists while chanting slogans against JI leaders including Qazi Hussain Ahmed. The IJT members said they would not allow any politician to damage the atmosphere of the varsity.
PU Registrar Naeem Khan said the administration did not invite Imran Khan whereas some professors only facilitated the exit of a person wanted by the state. However, he shied away when asked why JI information secretary Ameer-ur-Azeem, who is also wanted by the police, was not handed over.
It merits a mention that the PU administration renounced any link with the IJT and JI but acting Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Arif Butt was an office-bearer of the IJT. Though IJT claims being an independent body, its patron-ship by the JI is well known, as the IJT serves as a breeding ground of future political leaders of the JI.
Present Vice head of JI, Liaqat Baloch and many others, held the rank of PU IJT head during their student life. Sources within the JI disclosed that IJT had received specific instructions by the JI command to roughen up the PTI leader, for publicly denouncing Maulana Fazlur Rehman, head of JUI, a coalition partner in the religious conglomeration of MMA.
Despite open assurance of support, Qazi Hussain Ahmed and IJT members, are wary of Imran's popularity within the youth and were afraid that IJT's hegemony as the sole power in PU might be at stake after Imran's rally on Wednesday.
The MMA has been severely criticized in the past for supporting the regime by underhand deals with the government besides remaining in coalition government in Balochistan with the ruling PML.
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at 11:38 PM