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Sunday June 26, 2022

Imran Khan urges SC to hold open hearing on 'diplomatic cable' issue

Imran Khan says NSC meeting endorsed cable, containing conspiracy against Imran Khan's govt, was genuine

By Web Desk
April 23, 2022
Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan addressing his first press conference after his removal from office at Bani Gala in Islamabad, on April 23, 2022. — YouTube/HumNewsLive
Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan addressing his first press conference after his removal from office at Bani Gala in Islamabad, on April 23, 2022. — YouTube/HumNewsLive

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Imran Khan on Saturday urged the Supreme Court to hold an open hearing of the matter involving a “diplomatic cable” containing a threat to his government from the US.

Addressing his first press conference after being removed from the prime ministership, Imran Khan appealed to the SC to investigate the cable from the US, adding that if the apex court fails to do so, then no prime minister would be able to stand firm against conspiracies and threats.

"It (Supreme Court) should do now what it did not do earlier — probe the cable [...] even former president Gen Pervez Musharraf decided to follow the instructions just because of a threat. Therefore, it is imperative that the court probe this cable," the ex-premier said.

Khan said once the apex court investigates the cable, it will come to light that then-Opposition leaders and PTI members met foreign diplomats often — in the days up to the no-confidence motion.

"How did a media campaign start against my government? I knew what was happening as I was getting reports," the PTI chairman said.

Khan said he was surprised that the top court was not hearing the case on an urgent basis. "Does this issue not warrant the court's immediate attention?"

He claimed he was right all along and the National Security Committee's (NSC) latest statement proves that there was a conspiracy against him.

He said the NSC meeting — with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair — endorsed the cable was genuine and that Pakistan's ex-ambassador to the US held a meeting with American official Donald Lu, where the latter used undiplomatic language.

"I will go a step forward and say that he was arrogant [...] the Joe Biden administration official told our ambassador that Imran Khan will have to be removed through a no-confidence motion," the PTI chairman said, adding that the meeting took place before the no-trust motion was filed.

Reiterating his claim, Khan said the US official told Pakistan's ambassador that everything would be forgiven for Islamabad if he was removed from office.

Khan said following this meeting, the PTI allies started "realising" that the country's situation was not ideal and that the then-government needed to be removed from power.

"But let me tell you, our economic situation was very good [...] our exports, remittances, tax collection, agricultural output, and the price of agricultural products were all historic," he said.

This has also been confirmed — after the new NSC statement — that the political heads and some of our allies were unaware that they were part of a foreign conspiracy, the PTI chairman said.

Khan said although some people here were unaware of the "conspiracy", the person sitting in London, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, his brother Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari were all part of it.

"They were all hand-in-hand in this conspiracy," he said.

Plans for Islamabad march

Lashing out at the incumbent government, he said PM Shehbaz and his sons had to answer to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for Rs40 billion that you accumulated through corruption.

"...but now he has changed the (DG FIA)," Khan said, implying that the PM was aiming to get an easy way out. He claimed that 70% of the federal cabinet was on the Exit Control List (ECL).

The ex-prime minister also announced that he had instructed his party to start working at the ground level for the "actual independence march" towards Islamabad, but noted he would announce a date later.

Khan said a sea of people would march toward Islamabad as he had never seen "such awareness" in the people, and citing a reason for the awareness, he shed light on his rallies held after his removal from office.