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Gilani’s offloading ‘political victimisation’

LAHORE: The Pakistan Peoples Party has criticised the offloading of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani when he was about to fly to Bangkok, Thailand, from the Allama Iqbal Airport here on Wednesday.

Reacting to his offloading, Mr Gilani regretted that the bar on his travel abroad was imposed all of a sudden without any intimation.

“Barring a former prime minister from flying abroad without any legal grounds is in fact an open violation of the basic human rights and victimisation of political opponents,” PPP parliamentary leader in the Punjab Assembly Hassan Murtaza said.

“The Constitution, human rights and relevant laws are being violated for the last six months [since the PTI came into power]. Political leaders, workers and members of the public are being victimised with the aim of reversing the 18th constitutional amendment and imposing one-party rule and presidential form of government in the country,” he added

Talking to Dawn, Mr Gilani wondered what prompted the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to bar him from flying to Thailand, when he had earlier visited Nepal and Dubai without any objection by any authority, while he had been obeying all court orders and regularly appearing in all cases, whatever these were, since 2014.

Terming his offloading a violation of the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of movement, he lamented that the agency did not show the courtesy of informing him in time and imposed the decision only when he reached the airport.

He recalled that he as the prime minister freed the higher courts judges “imprisoned” by a dictator and also all the political prisoners. He claimed that the FIA was never used against political opponents during his tenure.

Replying to a query, he said he would challenge the travel ban in a court of law.

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