Imran fears arrest, says tweet ‘may be his last’

PTI chief says there’s still time for dialogue


Imran Adnan May 17, 2023
PTI chief Imran Khan is showing his popularity graph during an address to his supporters from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore on May 17, 2023. SCREENGRAB

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LAHORE:

 

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Wednesday he feared he could be re-arrested as the police had surrounded his Zaman Park residence, describing his tweet as “probably” his last one before his “possible arrest”.

“Probably my last tweet before my next arrest. Police has surrounded my house,” Imran wrote. He also shared a video clip in which police in riot gear, as well as police vehicles moving on road, which Imran said, was outside his Zaman Park residence.

Earlier, in his address to the supporters via a video link from his residence, the PTI chairman urged the establishment not to escalate the situation, as it would not serve “any good to anyone”.

Imran said that there was still time for talks to find a solution to the ongoing political crisis, but stressed that the solution would out only from the fresh elections.

Referring to the attacks on government buildings, including sensitive installations following his arrest on May 9, Imran reiterated that independent investigation should be conducted to unveil the miscreant responsible for violent and arson incidents.

Imran highlighted that one of the most transparent elections were held in 1970 but “we did not accept the mandate of the most popular political leader of [former] East Pakistan, Sheikh Mujeebur Rehman”. That, he added, resulted in the country falling apart.

According to the PTI chairman, force was used against the biggest political party of East Pakistan, the Awami League, in 1971, in the same fashion that was being witnessed here in the country today.

The former prime minister said that the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) was trying to bring the country’s biggest political party, the PTI, and the army in front of each other just to save the corruption of its leaders.

He lamented that his party’s leaders and workers were being “arrested and abducted illegally” on the pretext of May 9 riots. “Over 7,500 PTI workers and supporters, besides senior leadership, have been arrested without fair investigation of the incidents,” he said.

“Contrary to religious teachings and cultural traditions, even women and children were being abducted and tortured. Very humiliating and inhuman treatment was being met to women and all this was happening just to protect the loot of corrupt rulers,” he asserted.

Imran expressed his fear that this situation would lead the country to where it would be difficult to gather the piece. “If we do no show restraint and think wisely, the situation will be out of everyone’s control,” he warned.

“From past one year, attempts are being made to keep Imran Khan out of the politics despite knowing the fact that the PTI was the biggest and most popular political party of the country,” he continued.

“No matter if they have to break the Constitution or violate the Supreme Court’s orders; they do not want to hold elections just to keep Imran Khan out of the politics,” the PTI chairman added.

Imran highlighted that the PDM had decided not to hold elections in fear of defeat. The PDM was also threatening that if Imran Khan came into power, he would remove the army chief.

“When I was the prime minister, I had reports that the then army chief was hatching conspiracy against me. I did not interfere into institutional affairs because I did not want to weaken the institution. I have conveyed the same to army on numerous occasions.”

Imran further said that he was the only Pakistani, who always defended the Pakistan Army. “I support my army because I believe that [otherwise] Pakistan’s fate would not be different from those Muslim states, which had weak armies, like Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.”

Responding to the government’s allegation that some 40 terrorists were hiding in Zaman Park, he said if there were 40 terrorists here then his life was also in danger. “Please do come here, but in a civilised manner and do not attempt to storm my residence,” he said.

“If the police come with a search warrant to carry out an operation at his residence”, he added, he would cooperate. However, he believed that the government was creating a ground to attack his residence.

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