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Monday April 22, 2024

'Unsettling and shocking': Imran Khan narrates details of his arrest

PTI chief reprises his faith in judiciary, calling it "only hope" to restore rights and freedom of people

By Web Desk
May 14, 2023
PTI chief Imran Khan being interviewed by Sky News Cordelia Lynch at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore on May 13, 2023. — Screenshot of a YouTube video.
PTI chief Imran Khan being interviewed by Sky News' Cordelia Lynch at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore on May 13, 2023. — Screenshot of a YouTube video.

After being released on bail by the courts in a dramatic turns of events, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan narrated details of his arrest terming the process "unsettling and shocking."

The PTI chief, in his first detailed interview to Sky News after being bailed out of custody, said: "The way they manhandled and beat everyone and arrested me was unsettling and shocking."

Khan expressed dismay at the brutal treatment meted out to him by everyone involved and the way excessive force was used for his "illegal" apprehension, which left a lasting impression on him.

Recounting the day he was taken into custody, he recalled a moment of confusion and said: "Some individuals resembling commandos suddenly appeared at the time of his arrest. I thought they came for my security." However, former premier added, he soon realised that they were after him.

Despite the challenges, Khan said he has displayed unwavering determination and readiness to face imprisonment once again. "I am ready to go to jail again," he maintained.

'Democracy at an all-time low'

The former prime minister — who was ousted of office following a no-confidence motion in April last year — expressed concern over rights violation in Pakistan following arrest earlier this week lamenting that democracy in the country is at "an all-time low".

"Democracy is at an all-time low. The only hope we have is the judiciary," he said, after receiving respite from the courts.

He reprised his faith in the judiciary and deemed it the "only hope" in restoring the rights and freedoms of the people.

Khan said that it was due to the threats to his life that a judge previously issued orders for his protection. The "shocking and abrupt" nature of the incident, he recalled, left him momentarily believing that there was some terrorist in the room only to realise that he himself was the target.

The PTI chairman also spoke about the violation of fundamental rights in the country, which he claimed had reached unprecedented levels.

"The first time they showed me an arrest warrant was inside the jail. It happens in the law of the jungle," the PTI chairman said, narrating his experience of receiving a heavy hand of the authorities, with his house being raided twice by the police, even breaking down of his residence's doors at one instance.

During the raid, he said, his wife was alone in the house terming it an alarming and unprecedented situation for him.

The former premier mentioned that approximately 150 cases had been filed against — an unprecedented number of cases that no other politicians of the country has been slapped with.

Khan also accused the government of fearing elections, as, according to him, they [the ruling coalition] believed facing a significant defeat in the elections.

"The government is petrified of elections and they fear being wiped out by the PTI in the polls," he said.

Revealing the extent of the political climate's hostility, Khan claimed that the ruling coalition was only willing to hold elections if he was incarcerated or killed.

The PTI chief said that there had been two assassination attempts on his life, raising concerns about his safety and security.

When questioned about the incidents of violence during protests by his party workers after he was arrested on May 9, the cricketer-turned-politician promptly condemned all forms of violence.