Published On: Mon, May 15th, 2023
Published in Category: Government / Govt

Coalition govt was ‘petrified of elections’: Imran Khan

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LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan in an exclusive interview with an international media outlet, has said that democracy in Pakistan is at “an all-time low”.

“Democracy is at an all-time low. The only hope we have is the judiciary,” said Imran Khan while speaking with “Sky News” on Sunday.

He also said that the coalition government was “petrified of elections” and feared being “wiped out” by his party at the polls.

“So they have decided that the only way they will allow elections is if I am inside jail or killed. There have been two attempts on me,” he said, adding that his house was also raided while he was away.

The former prime minister also condemned “all violence” when asked about alleged violence by protesters following his arrested from the premises of Islamabad High Court (IHC) on May 9.

Imran Khan said that he was ready to go in jail again, adding that at the time of his arrest some people came like commandoes and he though they have come for his protection. Imran Khan said that due to threats to his life the judge issued directions regarding his protection, adding that the way he was beaten up and he was arrested it was surprising. Imran Khan said that till today 150 cases have not been registered against any politician. Imran Khan said that the government arrested him from Islamabad the way as he is a terrorist.

The former prime minister reprised his faith only in judiciary terming it as the "only hope" in the country for restoring the rights and freedoms of the people. "Democracy is at an all-time low. The only hope we have is the judiciary," the PTI chairman said.

Imran Khan also raised alarm over the violation of fundamental rights in the country, which he claimed had reached unprecedented levels.

The PTI leader went on to share his own distressing experiences of being taken into custody, narrating how his residence had been raided by the police on two occasions.

During one of these raids, he said, the authorities forcefully broke down the doors of his house in his wife's presence terming it an "unprecedented and unsettling situation" for himself.

Revealing the extent of the political climate's hostility, Imran Khan claimed that the ruling coalition was only willing to hold elections if he was incarcerated or killed. The PTI chief said that there had been two assassination attempts on his life, raising concerns about his safety and security.

Imran Khan said that it was due to the threats to his life that a judge previously issued orders for his protection. The "shocking and abrupt" nature of the incident, he recalled, left him momentarily believing that there was some terrorist in the room only to realise that he himself was the target.

Expressing dismay at the brutal treatment by everyone involved, he said that the excessive force used during the arrest left a lasting impression on him. "The way they manhandled and beat everyone and arrested me was unsettling and shocking."

Despite the challenges he has faced, Imran Khan said he has displayed unwavering determination and readiness to face imprisonment once again. "I am ready to go to jail again," he maintained.