Thursday May 30, 2024

Imran asks US lawmaker to raise voice for his party

PTI chief claims in alleged audio leak ‘No political party has ever faced the crackdown PTI is facing currently

By Ali Raza & News Desk
May 21, 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

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, who accused the United States of engineering his ouster from power in April last year, has purportedly sought a US Congresswoman’s 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 premier could be heard asking the American lawmaker to raise her voice against “human rights violations” in Pakistan.

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

In the 1.57-minute-long audio leak, the PTI chairman briefed the US lawmaker 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 the 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 the “worst crackdown” which, according to him, no democratic party had ever faced in the country’s history.

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

“All we want is just the 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 the 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.

Commenting on the audio leak, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Interior Attaullah Tarar said on Saturday that PTI Chairman Imran Khan was begging a US Congresswoman to help and protect him, after instigating his people to attack defence installations.

Addressing a press conference along with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Defence Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan, he said PTI’s miscreants had been involved in vandalism that took place on May 9, as they damaged memorials of martyrs and sensitive defence installations, including the Jinnah House [Lahore corps commander’s house] and the replica of Chaghai mountain.

The SAPM said that PTI’s miscreants, including Tayyaba Raja and Sanam Javed, were present in Zaman Khan and they had been involved in spreading hate about the national institutions.

He said Imran Khan was not capable of leading the country, and the PTI was an anti-Pakistan party, which would have no place in the country’s politics. Many PTI leaders wanted to join the PML-N, he claimed.

Speaking on the occasion, Malik Ahmad Khan said firstly Imran Khan created chaos and disorder in the society, attacked the national installations, Askari Bank branches, monuments of martyrs and then telephoned the US Congresswoman, asking for help to save him.

He said that some PTI workers had been arrested and legal action was being taken only against those who were directly involved in instigating violence and causing vandalism on May 9.

Malik Ahmad said that Imran Khan begged the US Congresswoman to start lobbying for him and write letters to take other people on board and after taking them on-board, they thought the US government could approach the Pakistan’s government in favour of him, he added.

He said that everyone in foreign relations knew about cipher, but Imran Khan hatched a conspiracy about the US cipher, which was used for correspondence between the countries.

Imran Khan’s rebuttal of the foreign conspiracy theory was a reminder of his vicious role he played to harm Pakistan’s external relations. He said Imran Khan’s double standards and begging for help from the US congresswoman was shameful and condemnable.

The SAPM said that after Imran Khan’s foreign conspiracy narrative got exposed, he tried to link it with freedom from the defence institution in a public gathering by saying that the defence institution could not stay neutral and they should be on his (Imran’s) side.

Imran Khan had criticised the national institution just to achieve his political agendas and get their support, he asserted.

Malik Ahmad Khan said that Imran Khan had caused severe damage to the national economy, violated the agreement with the IMF and signed agreements to purchase costly gas and electricity.