UN chief urges de-escalation of political tensions in Pakistan – The Express Tribune

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Guterres emphasised need for 'competent, independent and impartial legal process'
Amid strain between the incumbent government and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday urged calm, de-escalation of tensions and respect for the rule of law in Pakistan.
In response to a question about the “increasingly tense” situation, Guterres’ spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said that the secretary-general was aware of the charges brought against former prime minister Imran Khan and that he emphasised the “need for a competent, independent and impartial legal process”.
“He urges calm, lowering of tensions, and respect for the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms,” the spokesperson added.
The UN chief had returned to New York on the weekend from a trip to Europe.
Political turmoil
Tensions escalated in the political arena of the country after deposed prime minister Imran Khan was booked under terrorism charges on the complaint of Islamabad Saddar Magistrate Ali Javed for threatening the additional sessions judge of the federal capital, Zeba Chaudhry.
The first informant report (FIR) lodged by the Margalla police said that the PTI chief threatened the additional sessions judge of Islamabad with a view to terrorise the high officials of the police and the judiciary so that they could not fulfil their duties and refrain from taking action against the party due to fear of Imran.
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The PTI chief said he was expecting to be arrested at three or four o'clock in the night, however, party leaders mobilised supporters and workers to flock to Bani Gala, Imran’s hometown, while PTI bigwigs met with him at his residence.
Mixed signals
Meanwhile, the ruling coalition flashed mixed signals on its decision regarding the arrest of Imran Khan and appeared to be maintaining a 'smoke and screens' line on whether it wanted the former premier behind the bars or not.
While asserting that they wouldn’t 'deign' to invest energies into political vendetta, the leading lights of the constituent parties of the coalition, however, seemed to agree to give their blessings to anything that took place with the "due legal course".
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the PML-N-led government was not similar to the PTI-led government, saying the incumbent government won’t resort to the tactics that the former ruling party did in its four years, especially, arresting its opponents.
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