The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief was apparently pleased with protesters storming the headquarters of Pakistan Television Network in Islamabad’s high-security “red zone” last year during the party’s four-month long sit-in outside Parliament, stating that the government “deserved it”.
In a leaked but yet to be verified telephonic conversation, Imran Khan told party leader Dr Arif Alvi that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government deserved the attack.
In the audio recording, the PTI chief is heard saying, “This is good” “They deserve it, the b*****ds you see, otherwise Nawaz will not resign; he should resign before the joint session,” he goes on to say.
The audio can be heard below:
Hundreds of protesters allegedly belonging to the PTI and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek briefly seized the state broadcaster on September 1, 2014 at a time when the country was in the grip of an intense political crisis spearheaded by Imran and PAT chief Tahirul Qadri.
The phone conversation, which begins with Alvi informing Imran about the attack, started making rounds on social media last night. Shared by supporters and opponents alike, the video led to people calling for an explanation.
Although, there has been no official statement yet by the PTI on the ‘phony’ controversy, Alvi on Twitter claimed that different conversations between him and PTI chief were ‘spliced together’.
Just an hour after making the claim, Alvi realised there was no denying this was a telephonic conversation and tweeted further to make his case.
Imran denies any wrong-doing, says phone-tapping is a crime
Although the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan denied hearing a leaked telephonic conversation between him and Arif Alvi, he was confident that he did commit any offence and stated that taping conversations was itself a crime.
“This is a crime,” he said. “I haven’t heard the audio but I can tell… I wouldn’t have committed a crime.”
The PTI chief also didn’t miss an opportunity to take a jibe at certain a political party, saying he was sure he didn’t order to kill someone, and to collect extortion money to be sent to London (on the call).
He also said he could procure an audio clip of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, insisting it was not a big deal.
‘PTI will come out on streets’
Regarding the agreement between his party and the federal government to form a judicial commission for investigation into the alleged rigging of 2013 general elections, the PTI chairman said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) now wanted to amend the MoU signed between both the parties.
“We were notified yesterday that the PML-N is willing to amend the MoU,” he said.
He argued that the PTI showed flexibility for the country’s sake, and did not want the deadlock to continue. He also said there will be no further talks on the judicial commission.
“We stand by the agreement shown by the media,” he said. “If the PML-N backs out, we will come out on streets to get justice.”
He also said that the PML-N’s reluctance means it is afraid their rigging will be exposed.
Later on during the day, however, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar slammed the PTI chief’s claims regarding the changes in the MoU and said that Imran has some “misunderstanding”.
“Looks like Imran is confused,” the finance minister said.
Further, Dar said the government has been in touch with PTI General Secretary Jehangir Tareen.