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Establishment right now somehow feels threatened by me: Imran Khan

LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has formed a committee to lead the party if Imran Khan is arrested, the former prime minister told a foreign news agency hours before an appearance before a court that had issued arrest warrants for him.

"I have made a committee which will obviously take decisions once — if — I'm inside" jail, Imran Khan said in an interview in his Lahore home before heading to Islamabad early on Saturday.

Imran Khan told there were 94 cases against him. Imran Khan said the threat to his life is greater than before and asserted — without providing evidence — that his opponents want to block him from standing in elections later this year.

Imran Khan said there was no reason he should be arrested now because he had bail on all his cases. "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 then," 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."

"I just think that those who are trying to do this just cannot comprehend the situation. Unfortunately, the mind that is thinking of either killing me or putting me in jail, I don't think they comprehend where Pakistan is situated right now."

Imran 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.

Meanwhile Imran Khan on Saturday said the incumbent government intended to arrest him as he made his way to a district and sessions court in Islamabad to appear before the judge in the Toshakhana (gift depository) case.

Issuing a special statement while en route to Islamabad, the PTI chairman said he “knows that he will be arrested but is still making his way to the court because he 'believes rule of law'".

“I want to tell you all that these people [government] have made a plan to arrest me,” he said, adding that he was ready to go the Islamabad court before as well.

“The Zaman park operation was not done to make me appear before the court, it was done to put me in jail…because it is part of the London plan to put me in jail,” he added.

He stated that this is the “demand” of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif in order to prevent him from taking part in the upcoming elections.

The former premier reiterated that he knows that he will be arrested, adding that he believes in rule of law.

Meanwhile, PTI senior leader Fawad Chaudhry demanded Islamabad authorities open the internal roads of the capital.

“The internal roads of Islamabad should be opened immediately, let the Constitution and law remain in the country,” he said in a tweet.

The former information minister added that the party is filing an urgent writ in the IHC, adding that “police terrorism is not acceptable in the name of administrative arrangements”.

PTI Secretary General Asad Umar also criticised the capital administration for “blocking roads”. “Roads to court are blocked from all sides. Those whose names are on the court list are also not allowed to pass. It seems that famous terrorists are coming,” he said.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the capital police said that all routes in the city are open, adding that special security measures have been implemented around the judicial complex.

The Islamabad police also stated that court orders and code of conduct are being followed, adding that 12 journalists, including three women journalists, included in the court-issued list are currently inside the judicial complex.

Moreover, in wake of the current situation in the federal capital, an emergency has been imposed in the hospitals of Islamabad.

The police added that Imran Khan’s convoy is coming the wrong way on the Islamabad-Srinagar highway, due to which there has been a disruption in the outgoing traffic. The police further requested the PTI chief’s convoy to change direction at the nearest U-turn.

The PTI chairman's lawyer, Babar Awan, filed a written application in the court against the barring of party lawyers, officials and media from entering the judicial complex.

“The entire area has been cordoned off in the name of security by the police and administration,” Awan stated in the application.

The PTI counsel added that despite clear orders from the honourable high court, the situation is very serious and alarming.

“There is no legal justification for banning the entry of lawyers and media in the open court,” furthered Awan.

He requested the court to take notice of the “poor and unjustifiable policy of the administration” and issue orders for the entry of important persons including lawyers and media into the court.