Speaking to Geo TV over phone, Khattak, a close aide of Imran Khan and former chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, did not rule out the possibility of banning the party. He said that if the ban is imposed, PTI will continue to participate in electoral politics with a new name. He said, “If an attempt is made to ban the party, PTI will do politics with a new name.” At a time when many PTI leaders are leaving the party, Khattak rubbished the rumors of his leaving the party.
Imran Khan has also banned
Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has called for a ban on PTI. However, several leaders in the ruling coalition of 13 parties, including Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, have opposed the ban on the party. Jai Sindh Qaumi Mahj-Ariser (JSQM-A) and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), two parties in the previous PTI government in Pakistan, were declared banned organizations in 2020 and 2021 respectively. However, the ban on TLP was lifted in the same year.
History of ban on political parties in Pakistan
Pakistan has a long history of banning political parties. The Communist Party of Pakistan was banned in July 1954. On 26 March 1971, the then Pakistani President General Yahya Khan banned Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Awami League. In 1975, the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto banned the National Awami Party. In May 2020, Imran Khan’s government had banned Sindh’s party JSQM-A. The religious party TLP was also banned on 15 April 2021 after violent protests.