‘How will you crush the party when its vote bank is increasing’, Imran Khan asked Pakistan government before arrest : The Tribune India

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‘How will you crush the party when its vote bank is increasing’, Imran Khan asked Pakistan government before arrest

In his address to the nation on YouTube on Friday night, the ousted prime minister said military establishment and government have a fear that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf would sweep the polls

‘How will you crush the party when its vote bank is increasing’, Imran Khan asked Pakistan government before arrest

Imran Khan. Reuters file



PTI

Lahore, August 5

A day before his arrest, Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Imran Khan claimed that his party would sweep the next elections as the vindictive actions taken against him and his supporters by the Shehbaz Sharif-led government, backed by the military establishment, were only increasing his party’s vote bank.

The 70-year-old embattled former premier was arrested on Saturday from his Lahore’s Zaman Park residence after the Islamabad trial court sentenced him in absentia to three years in prison in a corruption case over the sale of expensive state gifts when he was in power. The move could disqualify him from politics.

“The military establishment and the government have a fear that the PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) would sweep the polls. The May 9 incidents (attack on army installations) were an excuse as they (the military and the government) had already planned to crush my party,” Khan said in his address to the nation on YouTube on Friday night.

“How will you crush the party when its vote bank is increasing,” the 70-year-old cricketer-turned-politician asked.

Pakistan’s current National Assembly will complete its five-year term on August 12 and the fresh general election must be conducted within 60 days as laid down in the Constitution of Pakistan. But if the current government dissolves the lower house before August 12, elections could be postponed further and be held within 90 days.

The PTI chief said the courts have become his office where he goes daily to attend hearings.

“So far I have appeared in 350 hearings in about 200 cases against me...A number of PTI leaders have quit the party under pressure. Currently some 10,000 party leaders and workers, including women, are still in jails and several of them facing custodial torture,” he said, lambasting the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led government.

Khan alleged there is an “undeclared martial law” in Pakistan and the country is heading towards dark ages.

Pakistan saw unprecedented nationwide anti-government protests following Khan’s arrest by paramilitary Rangers in a corruption case on May 9. He was later released on bail.

Dozens of military installations and government buildings, including the military headquarters in Rawalpindi, were damaged or torched during the riots. Over 100 vehicles of police and other security agencies were set on fire. After the May 9 violence, the police backed by the military launched a crackdown on the PTI and arrested 10,000 party workers, including women. Over 100 have been handed over to the military for their trial under the Army Act.

The PTI contests that its members were not involved in the attacks, but the government and military reject the claims and say they have “irrefutable evidence” of their involvement.

Khan is also facing numerous cases related to attacks on military installations. Currently, he is facing more than 150 cases related to terrorism, murder and blasphemy.

In a tweet on Thursday, Khan said, “Never in our 75 years history has a government so comprehensively tried to dismantle our democracy, our civil liberties, our religious, moral and cultural values just to keep one man and his party out of power. And in the process completely destroying the economy and our state institutions.”

Khan was ousted from power in April last year after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, which he alleged was part of a US-led conspiracy targeting him because of his independent foreign policy decisions on Russia, China and Afghanistan. The US has repeatedly dismissed his allegations.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government’s spokesperson Amir Mir said Khan is being shifted to Islamabad.

‘How will you crush the party when its vote bank is increasing’, Imran Khan asked Pakistan government before arrest

In his address to the nation on YouTube on Friday night, the ousted prime minister said military establishment and government have a fear that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf would sweep the polls

Lahore, August 5

A day before his arrest, Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Imran Khan claimed that his party would sweep the next elections as the vindictive actions taken against him and his supporters by the Shehbaz Sharif-led government, backed by the military establishment, were only increasing his party’s vote bank.

The 70-year-old embattled former premier was arrested on Saturday from his Lahore’s Zaman Park residence after the Islamabad trial court sentenced him in absentia to three years in prison in a corruption case over the sale of expensive state gifts when he was in power. The move could disqualify him from politics.

“The military establishment and the government have a fear that the PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) would sweep the polls. The May 9 incidents (attack on army installations) were an excuse as they (the military and the government) had already planned to crush my party,” Khan said in his address to the nation on YouTube on Friday night.

“How will you crush the party when its vote bank is increasing,” the 70-year-old cricketer-turned-politician asked.

Pakistan’s current National Assembly will complete its five-year term on August 12 and the fresh general election must be conducted within 60 days as laid down in the Constitution of Pakistan. But if the current government dissolves the lower house before August 12, elections could be postponed further and be held within 90 days.

The PTI chief said the courts have become his office where he goes daily to attend hearings.

“So far I have appeared in 350 hearings in about 200 cases against me...A number of PTI leaders have quit the party under pressure. Currently some 10,000 party leaders and workers, including women, are still in jails and several of them facing custodial torture,” he said, lambasting the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led government.

Khan alleged there is an “undeclared martial law” in Pakistan and the country is heading towards dark ages.

Pakistan saw unprecedented nationwide anti-government protests following Khan’s arrest by paramilitary Rangers in a corruption case on May 9. He was later released on bail.

Dozens of military installations and government buildings, including the military headquarters in Rawalpindi, were damaged or torched during the riots. Over 100 vehicles of police and other security agencies were set on fire. After the May 9 violence, the police backed by the military launched a crackdown on the PTI and arrested 10,000 party workers, including women. Over 100 have been handed over to the military for their trial under the Army Act.

The PTI contests that its members were not involved in the attacks, but the government and military reject the claims and say they have “irrefutable evidence” of their involvement.

Khan is also facing numerous cases related to attacks on military installations. Currently, he is facing more than 150 cases related to terrorism, murder and blasphemy.

In a tweet on Thursday, Khan said, “Never in our 75 years history has a government so comprehensively tried to dismantle our democracy, our civil liberties, our religious, moral and cultural values just to keep one man and his party out of power. And in the process completely destroying the economy and our state institutions.”

Khan was ousted from power in April last year after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, which he alleged was part of a US-led conspiracy targeting him because of his independent foreign policy decisions on Russia, China and Afghanistan. The US has repeatedly dismissed his allegations.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government’s spokesperson Amir Mir said Khan is being shifted to Islamabad.

So far, no major protest is held in Lahore or elsewhere in Punjab as heavy contingents of police have been deployed on all main roads and buildings in the city.

The security personnel have also been deployed on roads leading to cantonments in the province especially to secure military installations. PTI

So far, no major protest is held in Lahore or elsewhere in Punjab as heavy contingents of police have been deployed on all main roads and buildings in the city.

The security personnel have also been deployed on roads leading to cantonments in the province especially to secure military installations.

#Imran Khan #Pakistan #Shehbaz Sharif #Youtube


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