Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on Friday "thanked" the coalition government for putting his name on the no-fly list, saying he doesn't even plan to go abroad.
A day earlier, reports — based on information received from sources — revealed that several PTI leaders and former assembly members including Khan have been added to the no-fly list.
They had said that the names have been added to the FIA's Provisional National Identification List (PNIL) to prevent them from going abroad.
While the move usually concerns ministers and prominent personalities, the former prime minister seemed to be unfazed.
"I want to thank the government for putting my name on the ECL as I have no plans to travel abroad because I neither have any properties or businesses abroad nor even a bank account outside the country," the PTI chief wrote on his Twitter handle.
He further shared that if and when he does get an opportunity for a holiday, it will be in the northern mountains, his "favourite place on earth".
According to the sources within the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA), 226 names of the PTI leaders including its party chief have been added to the list for their involvement in the May 9 violence and desecration of martyrs' monuments.
Moreover, the former prime minister's wife Bushra Bibi's name has also been added to the list. Apart from that, the list includes Murad Saeed, Maleeka Bokhari, Fawad Chaudhry, Hammad Azhar, Qasim Suri, Asad Qaiser, Yasmin Rashid and Mian Aslam Iqbal.
The sources further claimed that some of the PTI leaders and office bearers tried leaving the country in the last three days, however, they were stopped at the airports.
Reports regarding Khan's plan to seek political asylum in the United States also circulated.
Minister of State for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Faisal Karim Kundi said that Khan would soon seek asylum in the United States.
“I am going to give you guys some news that I have received through my sources: Imran Khan will soon apply for political asylum in America,” Kundi, who is also an office bearer of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), told journalists a day earlier.
Khan’s party has been feeling the heat of the state’s might after his party workers burnt and smashed military installations, including the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, after his arrest on May 9 — a day the army dubbed as “Black Day”.
Several party leaders and thousands of workers have been rounded up in connection with the violent protests and the army has insisted that the people involved in attacks on military installations be tried under the Pakistan Army Act and the Official Secrets Act.
A close aide of Khan, Asad Umar, has relinquished his posts of secretary general and core committee member, citing the ongoing situation.
Several party leaders and lawmakers — including Shireen Mazari, Aamir Mehmood Kiani, Malik Amin Aslam, Mahmood Moulvi, Aftab Siddiqui, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan among others — have publicly denounced the attacks on the state installations and announced leaving the former ruling party since the May 9 vandalism.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the federal government was considering imposing a ban on the PTI after receiving evidence that the party’s supporters carried out “pre-planned” and “coordinated” attacks on public properties and military installations.
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