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Thursday April 18, 2024

System doesn’t protect people: Imran Khan

Imran Khan said that the system does not protect people’s fundamental rights

By Faizan Bangash & News Desk
January 03, 2023
Imran Khan in an interview with a local news TV channel on January 2, 2023. Screengrab of a Twitter video.
Imran Khan in an interview with a local news TV channel on January 2, 2023. Screengrab of a Twitter video.

ISLAMABAD: Expressing severe concerns over the country’s judicial system, former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Monday said that the system does not protect people’s fundamental rights.

In an interview with a private TV channel, Khan lambasted the justice system, saying that being an ex-premier he could not lodge his FIR of an assassination attempt on him. “My party is in power in Punjab but the provincial police could not register my FIR.”

It is clear that “they” prepared a plan to kill him, the PTI chief said, adding that things in this regard will come to the fore in the next two to four days.

“No place left for you when the state turns against you and all of its powers start utilising against you,” Khan said while referring to the cases lodged against him and his party leadership.

He added that they were subjected to all kinds of oppression, adding that he felt that he was an “enemy of the country or a traitor”. Slamming the establishment yet again, the PTI leader said that after FIRs, audio leaks started surfacing. “Who was taping the secure phone line of the prime minister? It is a violation of the official secret act,” he added.

Imran Khan also claimed that former chief of army staff General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa was very close to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

“The plan was to bring Shehbaz Sharif [into power] and remove me,” the deposed prime minister said. Slamming the ex-army chief for, what he claims, favouring the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), Imran said: “Ishaq Dar, Nawaz Sharif’s sons and Shehbaz Sharif’s son-in-law flee during his tenure. In the beginning, there were a lot of doubts, we couldn’t understand.”

The former prime minister went on to say that “Gen Bajwa would say one thing and another was happening on the ground”. He added that while the former army chief claimed to remain neutral, the agencies were creating divisions within his party.

“This plan was made in the summer of 2021, after which the work on it began,” he said, repeating his claim of Gen Bajwa hiring Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani for lobbying in America during Khan’s government.

A day earlier, the PTI chief said that Haqqani launched a campaign against him and had been promoting the former army chief in the US. He also alleged that the matter regarding Donald Lu, the assistant secretary of state for the South and Central Asian region, began in 2021.

Following his government’s ouster, the PTI chairman made claims of a threat letter linking it to his removal from the PM office. Lu, according to Khan, was the diplomat involved in sending the letter. The former prime minister later signalled the desire to mend ties with the US through cooperation with Washington in the future.

In his interview on Monday, Imran said that during the time rumours were spread regarding his desire to appoint former Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) chief General (retd) Faiz Hameed as the next COAS.

“In the summer of 2021, I didn’t even think about who would be the army chief next year. As you gradually watch, you understand that there was an entire plan behind it,” he said, reasoning how the matter and steps taken for his removal.

Meanwhile talking to media persons, Imran Khan said that a Gen Bajwa before the extension was different than the Gen Bajwa after receiving the extension. Imran stated that when he (Bajwa) had made the plan to bring Shehbaz Sharif to power, the former army chief told us that he had “our audios and videos”.

Imran claimed after getting extension Bajwa had taken his eyes off and claimed that the army as neutral. The PTI chief said that he was unaware of the scheme regarding the removal of his government and bringing Shehbaz to power. He added that he got some hints later that something was wrong but he overlooked it as he had trusted Gen Bajwa.

When Shahzain Bugti switched loyalty and quit the government, it was obvious that plan had been set up to send the PTI government home. Imran disclosed that he met Gen (retd) Bajwa last time in August 2022. During the meeting the former COAS claimed that they had his (Imran’s) files – his audios and videos.

He said he was also told by Bajwa that he (Imran) had been a playboy over which Imran replied he had never claimed to be an angel. “If I had been a playboy, Allah Almighty had given me an opportunity to repent on my sins,” said Imran Khan.

Condemning the assault on media persons, Imran said that journalists were tortured on the orders of officials and Senator Azam Khan Swati was tortured for exercising his right of expression.

The PTI chairman termed free and fair elections the only solution to current political instability and economic chaos. He further said that two female MPAs of his party had disclosed that they had been offered bribe to abstain from voting Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.