Wednesday June 29, 2022

If Imran Khan is harmed, situation will go out of control: Asad Umar

Asad Umar said the economic improvement was sabotaged and the current economic situation and uncertainty surrounding the economy are poisonous

By Our Correspondent
May 20, 2022
If Imran Khan is harmed, situation will go out of control: Asad Umar

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Secretary General Asad Umar on Thursday cautioned that if anything happened to Imran Khan or an attempt was made to harm him, it would lead to conditions beyond anybody’s control.

He told a news conference here that when the economy’s wheel had started running, through a foreign conspiracy and closed room plots, the PTI government was ousted and this was an attack on the country’s stability as dollar had crossed the Rs200 mark. He was flanked PTI leaders Ali Zaidi and Omar Ayub Khan.

Umar, who served as federal minister for planning in the PTI government, questioned whether the airstrike by India in Balakot in 2019 was more damaging to Pakistan or the no-confidence vote that ousted Imran Khan as prime minister that led to dire economic straits. "I was asking people to tell me whether the strike by India in Balakot, which hit a crow and 12 trees, caused more damage to Pakistan or the no-confidence motion that was introduced after foreign interference and caused political instability."

He painted a bleak picture of the economy, linking it with the no-confidence motion and pointed to the persistent decline in the rupee's value over the past week, saying that it had led to a significant increase in Pakistan's external debt liabilities. 

He emphasized that since the day the no-confidence motion was filed, "our foreign debt has increased by Rs2,860 billion till date and this is the damage that has been caused to the country and early elections are the only way to end uncertainty."

He compared the country's economic situation during the PTI's tenure with the present state of economy and referred to a National Accounts Committee report issued a day earlier that said Pakistan's growth rate had neared six per cent, linking the growth to measures taken by the PTI government. It was in this situation that the Imran government was toppled through what he called a foreign conspiracy and the nation was still paying its price He termed the move an attack on Pakistan's stability.

"The economic improvement was sabotaged. The current economic situation and uncertainty surrounding the economy are poisonous and the only way to improve the prevailing situation is to go for elections," he contended. He claimed that there was a consensus across Pakistan that elections should be held.

Without naming anyone, he maintained that it was being said that they would use force and see how Imran Khan came out. Listen carefully, he asserted without addressing anyone in particular, the PTI's ongoing struggle was not Imran's or the party's alone, this nation had decided that it would not accept slavery. If someone believed that they could suppress this decision through force, violence and weapons, it was their misconception. "We have seen such misconceptions in the past as well," he said and recalled the incident of veteran Baloch nationalist leader and former Balochistan chief minister Nawab Akbar Bugti, who had been killed in an alleged military operation in the hills of Balochistan's Dera Bugti district.

Umar remarked: "You might still remember the day when it was announced that Akbar Bugti had been killed in such a manner that he didn't even realise from where he had been attacked. It has been 15 years since then, and still [they] are unable to handle Balochistan."

When asked whether he was referring to the army, he replied: “The Pakistan Army is an institution under the government and I am addressing the government. Whichever institution is listening, it is up to them. Those in power and the government usually have such misconceptions about the use of force. Similar suggestions were made to Imran Khan. When Nawaz Sharif made a call for Gujranwala and when Fazlur Rehman set out for Islamabad, suggestions were made to Imran Khan not to let them come out. But Imran Khan's reply was let them come and that what was there to worry about. He used to say it was their constitutional right. The people will decide.”

Umar then addressed those who make decisions and told them that history would not forgive if we try to go that way. “If you make this mistake, the damage caused to Pakistan, and I am not saying this happily or as a threat, the damage that you will cause,” he left the sentence incomplete. He contended that “little time was left... it is time to make decisions. If you do not make decisions, Pakistan's history will not forgive you." He said preparations had been made to bring people from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. People would also come from Sindh and Balochistan.

However, he explained that since these provinces were comparatively at distance, the plan was to give a call to people to hold rallies in big cities while the power show in the capital would be under way. He also rejected reports that the PTI had prepared women and children to resist any possible arrests during the march. He criticised the government for not taking "sufficient measures" for Imran's security and stressed that it was its responsibility. They had taken the responsibility of providing security to a convict, but the responsibility of the security of Pakistan's former and future prime minister "is ours and we have taken security measures."


    Anjum Khaleeq commented a month ago

    We will have to see with the angle as to who would benefit within PTI if GOD forbid IK is harmed.

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    Love Your Country commented a month ago

    Sentimental talks aim to fan emotions and keep minds out of action.

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    Aass commented a month ago

    How come they have grown such balls in so little time

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