LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has said a committee has been formed to lead the party if he is arrested.
“I have made a committee which will obviously take decisions once — if — I’m inside” jail, the 70-year-old said in an interview in his Lahore home before heading to Islamabad early on Saturday.
He told a foreign news agency there were 94 cases against him. Khan said the threat to his life is greater than before and asserted — without providing evidence — that his opponents wanted to block him from standing in elections later this year. Khan said there was no reason he should be arrested now because he had bail in all the cases. If convicted in a case, Khan could face disqualification from contesting the elections scheduled for November.
“The establishment right now somehow feels threatened by me. And that is the issue,” he claimed. “My life is even more at threat than it was anytime before,” he said, adding that he was worried about the reaction to his arrest or any attempt to assassinate him. “I feel that there would be a very strong reaction, and it would be a reaction all over Pakistan,” Imran said.
“I just think that those who are trying to do this just cannot comprehend the situation. Unfortunately, I don’t think they comprehend where Pakistan is situated right now,” he added. Khan claimed the military had had a role in pushing him out of power after relations soured with the previous army chief, General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa, who retired in November.
Earlier in the day, when Imran Khan kicked off for the federal capital, the Punjab Police resumed an operation at the PTI chief’s residence, broke into his house, and arrested several party workers. In his response, the former prime minister said it was “clear” that despite having gotten “bail” in the cases lodged against him, the Pakistan Democratic Movement-led government intended to arrest him. “It is also obvious now that the entire siege of Lahore was not about ensuring I appear before the court in a case, but was intended to take me away to prison so that I am unable to lead our election campaign,” he added.
In another tweet, he added: “Meanwhile, Punjab Police have led an assault on my house in Zaman Park where Bushra Begum is alone. Under what law are they doing this?
“This is part of London Plan where commitments were made to bring absconder Nawaz Sharif to power as quid pro quo for agreeing to one appointment,” he added.
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, PTI Secretary General Asad Umar and Dr Shireen Mazari blasted the government and Punjab Police for attacking Zaman Park residence. Qureshi said the PTI workers were subjected to the worst torture and sanctity of the veil and the four walls were violated. “Does the law not apply to these animals?”
Asad Umar, in his reaction, stated that Zaman Park operation was going on in sheer violation of court orders. He stated that there was only one housewife at home. He said that neither any law was left nor any morality.
Flaying the imported government, Dr Shireen Mazari said that assault on Imran Khan’s residence where Bushra Bibi was alone inside the house was pure state terrorism by a corrupt caretaker chief minister and his Gullu Butt police.
Dr. Mazari said that it seemed that some within the state deliberately wanted to create a widening rift between the people and the state so that Pakistan weakens and accepts subservience to external powers.
PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry demanded the government remove roadblocks from the intra-city routes leading to the court in Islamabad immediately to ensure the free flow of traffic. “Let there be some room for Constitution and the law in the country,” he said.
“The route to the courts has been turned into Gaza,” he wrote on Twitter, adding that writ petitions would immediately be filed in the Islamabad High Court. He condemned the restrictive administrative measures as “police terrorism”.
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