Tuesday February 20, 2024

'PTI chief reaches out to US against crackdown on workers’

Alleged audio leak reveals Khan sought US lawmaker Maxine Moore’s help to highlight “rights violations” in Pakistan

By Web Desk
May 20, 2023
PTI Chairman Imran Khan (left) and US lawmaker Maxine Waters can be seen in this illustration. — Canva
PTI Chairman Imran Khan (left) and US lawmaker Maxine Waters can be seen in this illustration. — Canva

An alleged audio leak purportedly featuring Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and US Congresswoman Maxine Moore Waters emerged on social media on Saturday.

In the alleged audio, Khan — who accused the United States of engineering his ouster from power in April last year — can purportedly be heard seeking US Congresswoman help against an ongoing crackdown on his party workers and leaders.

The alleged audio leak featuring Khan and US Congresswomen Maxine Moore Waters emerged on social media on Saturday wherein the former could be heard asking the American lawmakers to raise her against “human rights violation” in Pakistan.

“[This is] probably one of the most critical times in our history. We have most bizarre situation going on in this country,” the former premier purportedly told other person in the audio believed to be US congresswoman.

In the 1.57 minutes-long audio leak, the PTI chairman briefed the US lawmakers about his ouster from power and subsequent crackdown on his party workers.

“I received three bullets in one assassination attempt. My government was removed by ex-army chief army [General Qamar Javed Bajwa] because military establishment is very powerful here. He conspired with people who are in power currently and toppled my government,” he alleged in the leaked conversation.

Khan added that his party was facing “worst crackdown” which according to him no democratic party had ever faced in the country’s history.

While requesting Congresswoman Waters to issue statement in his party’s favour, Khan said: “We would appreciate here because it goes a long way when someone like you Maxine give a statement.”

“All we want is just rule of law and Constitution and fundamental rights. We just want a statement highlighting [crackdown] and that would really help us when someone like you Maxine speaks up it makes a lot of waves,” he added. 

The alleged audio came in the backdrop of ongoing crackdown on PTI workers and leaders after they resorted to violent protests following party chief Imran Khan's arrest on May 9 in graft case.

Thousands of party workers and leaders have been arrested for allegedly ransacking and torching public and military installations across the country during the nearly three-day long protests.

At least 10 people were killed and dozens others injured during the riots with civil and military leadership of the country declaring the unprecedented violence as "black chapter" in the country's history and vowed to try the rioters under Army Act and other relevant laws of the country.

PTI chief Khan has distanced his party from the attacks on defence and government buildings and demanded independent judicial commission to probe the vandalism.