PTI raises alarm over Imran’s safety

Party vows to take CDA to court for sealing its secretariat

News Desk May 24, 2024
PTI leaders addressing a press conference in Islamabad on May 24, 2024. SCREENGRAB

PTI senior leaders on Friday raised alarm over the potential assassination threat to the party’s founding chairman and former premier, Imran Khan, who was currently incarcerated in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.

The party has also pledged to take legal action against the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for sealing its central secretariat.

Speaking at a news conference at the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa House in Islamabad a day after the party’s secretariat was sealed by the CDA for violating building by-laws, PTI Information Secretary Raoof Hasan, Latif Khosa, Firdous Shamim Naqvi, and Ali Muhammad Khan underscored the “grave dangers” confronted by their leader.

Hasan said Imran had already expressed concerns about his life being in danger, and now it seemed that was becoming a reality.

“They used to remove and install prime ministers at will but they orchestrated the drama of May 9 [2023] when things didn’t go their way this time,” he added, in veiled reference to the ‘powerful circles’.

Hasan regretted that the PTI’s secretariat was “broken into last night”.

“Just a day before [Wednesday], a UN delegation was here and they attacked us. Even the UN vehicle was inspected,” he continued.

“Their hatred has not subsided. We have been living under the 'fascism' of the State for two years.”

The PTI leader said they could not accept the election results showing massive public support for Imran.

He added that despite all their tactics, the PTI founding chairman’s strength only grew with each passing day. “They could neither deter [Imran] Khan sahib, nor his party.”

Hasan maintained that as Imran had predicted, they would apparently resort to their last option – his assassination.
Speaking on the occasion, Ali Muhammad described the CDA action against the PTI secretariat an “attack” on democracy itself.

"They are closing down spaces where the largest political party can communicate. Last night’s incident shows that their intolerance knows no bounds," he maintained.

“When a political party’s offices are shut down, non-state actors receive an opportunity. Is the ideology of the PTI just in a building? No, it resides in our hearts.”

Ali Muhammad noted that Imran, who once carried Pakistan's flag around the world, was being treated with contempt.
“How long will this nation continue to sacrifice its leaders? Look at Dr Yasmin Rashid, an 80-year-old cancer patient, bedridden. Do they think they can intimidate Raoof Hasan by attacking him? It hasn’t worked.”

Ali Muhammad also criticised the government for not allowing him to meet the party’s founding chairman.
“He [Imran] wanted to go to the Supreme Court himself. An atomic state can’t provide security for a 40-minute drive from Adiala [Jail] to the Supreme Court?" he raised the question.

“What message is being given by the Centre by excluding the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s chief minister [PTI’s Ali Amin Gandapur] from the SIFC [Special Investment Facilitation Council] meeting?”
Khosa also condemned the targeting of the PTI.

“I am an MNA from Punjab, and our office there has been sealed. The office owner was arrested and is being subjected to the May 9 trial. This is blatant theft and robbery under official supervision," he claimed."If they think they can break the PTI’s spirit, they are mistaken."

Khosa further criticised the “treatment” being meted out to the judiciary.

“They are attacking the judiciary to pressure it. How can the Senate chairman allow such fiery speeches against the judiciary?” he wondered.

Separately, PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan said the party would take the CDA to court for the “illegal” action against the party secretariat.

He was presiding over a meeting of the party’s core committee inside a makeshift tent attended by its secretary general and National Assembly opposition leader Omar Ayub, Ali Muhammad, and Zain Qureshi among other leaders.

Condemning the CDA’s demolition drive, Gohar said in democracy, the central office of a political party was its “sacred” place.

He added that the PTI would move the Islamabad High Court against the CDA for sealing and damaging its secretariat.
On Thursday night, the CDA demolished the alleged illegal constructions at the PTI secretariat with a heavy contingent of police present outside its premises and sealed the office.


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