Imran sees conspiracy to pit PTI against army

Ex-PM credits his party for initiating political funding in country


​ Our Correspondents August 10, 2022
Former prime minister Imran Khan. SCREENGRAB

ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE ':

Amid rising political tensions and an online smear campaign stoking speculations, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday said a “conspiracy” was being hatched to pit his party against the military.

With the ruling coalition rolling up its sleeves to unleash a series of onslaughts of legal actions on the PTI, the alarms about a "conspiracy" to pit the former ruling party against the army were consistently echoed in a slew of statements from the PTI’s top leadership, including party chief Imran Khan.

Addressing his party workers and supporters via a video link, Imran Khan accused the coalition government of conspiring to spread the impression that the country’s biggest party was up in arms against its own army. He alleged that efforts were being made to pit PTI and the military against each other, adding that ECP’s prohibited funding case was the first step in this direction.

The former premier said that when his government was ousted, India, Israel and many western countries were the happiest. "India used to say Imran Khan is a puppet of the army but during our tenure army and government were on the same page."

Also read: FIA casts a wide net in PTI funding case

He said that PTI workers unearthed the disinformation campaign against the country.

"After the Mumbai attacks, Asif Ali Zardari said the DG ISPR should be sent to India. On other hand, we have Nawaz Sharif who, in Dawn leaks, said the ISI was involved in terrorism in India," he added.

Imran said that Nawaz Sharif even invited Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to the family wedding. "These people are calling us traitors. All their money is abroad and they have numerous corruption cases but still, they call themselves patriotic."

‘ECP’s report full of lies’

Commenting on the damning verdict by ECP in the prohibited funding case, the PTI chairman said that his party was the only one in Pakistan which initiated political funding in the country.

"40,000 people funded us but they declared them foreigners. We have audit reports. We provided each and everything to the ECP but it compiled a report full of lies. If the court properly investigates, it will be proven that the PTI is the only party which got its funding legitimately," he said and added that there are elements who are trying to get him disqualified.

Talking about the Toshakhana case, Imran said that all people who are in significant government positions get gifts. "Asif Ali Zardari got three cases from Toshakhana whereas Nawaz Sharif got one but all of it is illegal."

Now the coalition government, the PTI leader said, will try character assassination of him. “They know which media houses will support them. They will try to humiliate me in public. They will try to use muscle to crush us. This will damage the country because of their own interests. The ones who ousted us ... do they want a strong Pakistan? They want to keep Pakistan on life support."

The ousted prime minister said that the conspiracy against his party is very serious and dangerous. "When you put the country's biggest party against the army, no other thing can be as dangerous. I was 18 when I went to East Pakistan. I learnt how the hatred against the army spread. It is very unfortunate for us but it is being repeated today."

He said that the ones who are involved in the conspiracy are the local collaborators working on the whims of their foreign masters.

"After our government was ousted, they wanted to crush our party. But then [Punjab] by-elections happened. They were confident they will win but people in huge numbers came out and voted for us and all their plans failed. So their fear increased further," he added.

The former PM said that he doesn't know whether Pakistani airspace was used to kill al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. However, he added that many foreign newspapers are saying that Pakistan's airspace was used."During the war on terror, we lost 80,0000 Pakistanis for what $20 billion? There is a small elite which benefitted [from that money]. I fear for a small amount, we might again get into another conflict. We know from the past that there is little benefit in it and it destroys us," he added.

Also read: PTI plays funding verdict down, ruling coalition says Imran proven 'guilty'

He revealed that many PTI members are saying that they are getting threats from the TTP. "I think this is also part of the conspiracy. They want to make the PTI weak as it will make it easier for them to dictate Pakistan."

Talking about the arrest of PTI leader Shahbaz Gill, Imran said that if he had said something against Pakistan then there is a procedure to follow which involves registering a case.

"You register a case against him but Shahbaz Gill should be given an opportunity to clarify himself... But it is not the way to treat someone by breaking the windows of his vehicle," he added.

During his address, Imran Khan played a video clip which features Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari, Fazlur Rehman and Ayaz Sadiq criticising the army chief and armed forces.

He said that the PTI had sufficient street power to shut down the country. However, the country's situation is such that one has to worry about it. "We have resorted to only peaceful protests. Tell me one incident where we did vandalism or tried to harm the country."

Imran further said that there was a conspiracy going on to break the PTI. "They want to make us weak as they plan to the return of Nawaz Sharif before the elections so they are on equal footing as the PTI."

He said that Pakistan needed political stability the most right now so we can get out of this pit. "I fear for our national security as the country is being taken to a point where it would have to make compromises."

Reiterating his stance, the PTI leader concluded that transparent elections are the only way out of the current political uncertainty in the country.

Meanwhile, Senior PTI leader Asad Umar also echoed Imran, accusing the PML-N-led coalition government of attempting to create discord between the PTI and the army.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore, the PTI leader said cases were being filed against his party in a manner as if it was "a threat to Pakistan".

Umar said a "condemnable" tweet was posted from a Twitter account that merely had 50 followers, "and it was played up by accounts with huge following only to add fuel to the fire".

He said the top brass of the ruling coalition, including Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Asif Ali Zardari and Maulana Fazlur Rehman had been criticising the army until the recent past. "Was any action taken against them?" he questioned.

He said Imran had even emphasised the need to have a strong army after losing the government. "Our chairman had categorically said Pakistan needs its army more than Imran Khan."

The PTI leader insisted that the nation had realised its power. "If decisions for the future of Pakistan are taken, it will only be made by people and not anyone else," he added.

The PTI leader also berated the Election Commission of Pakistan for treating the PTI with "sheer discrimination" through its verdict in the prohibited funding case.

He recalled that the ECP had "dropped" the use of the phrase "foreign funding", saying how did it start using it again when it was not even mentioned in the law.

COMMENTS

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

E-Publications

Most Read