Published On: Sun, May 14th, 2023
Published in Category: Lahore

Imran Khan says his party workers were not involved in the violent incidents

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LAHORE: In response to the recent countrywide violent protests and attacks on the military installations, including the Lahore Corps Commander House and the General Headquarters (GHQ) Rawalpindi, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan said his party workers were not involved in the incidents.

Addressing the nation via video link, PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday said that those who were escaping from the elections wanted to create unrest and chaos in the county but not his party.

Imran Khan blamed the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for attacking the judiciary. He maintained that the PML-N supremo "destroyed the judiciary".

The former prime minister thanked the judiciary for saving him from going to prison in “fake cases”.

Imran Khan also clarified that the allegations were directed against a person who wanted to see a strong army. "I am not doing any drama here. My wealth is not hidden in some foreign country. I had 145 cases against me but I did not escape. Put me on ECL if you want as I am not going anywhere."

The former prime minister further highlighted that he had been the recipient of the most charity because people trusted him. "You're saying Imran is lying. You should be ashamed of yourself. I have been given the most charity because they trust me."

Imran Khan emphasised the need for tolerance for criticism, saying that any society which criticises progresses.

Lashing out at the treatment against his party leaders and workers, he said that such crackdown had been carried out in East Pakistan, adding that such actions could have dire consequences. "You will not listen to me, but I advise you to think big. You should see where the country is heading."

Imran Khan called on judges to refuse orders from the "handlers" and choose freedom, urging them to question the legality of such orders and refuse to follow them.

"I ask judges to refuse to obey the orders of these handlers. Say I will not follow your orders. Under what law are you ordering me?" he said. "The time has come to choose freedom."

Imran Khan also urged media outlets to reject orders from them and follow the Constitution. He encouraged journalists to listen to their conscience and not be controlled by fear.

"I also ask the media to refuse their orders. Say to them that you will follow the Constitution. Follow your conscious. They only use your fear," he added.

The former premier also called for an investigation into the protests and vandalism that occurred following his arrest on May 9, asking Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial to lead the investigation and personally chair the panel.

"I want investigation for the ransacking of government buildings but not from them (government). I want the chief justice to create a panel which he should chair by himself," he said.

Imran Khan also questioned the motive behind the protests, asking why people did not react in a similar manner when he was shot in Wazirabad. "In the Supreme Court, I came to know about the protests. When I was shot, why didn't people react in such a way?" he questioned.

Imran Khan expressed his gratitude to the judiciary for taking a stand, saying that it is the only avenue left to get justice. He accused the police of illegally attacking his residence and looting his property while his wife Bushra Bibi was alone at home during a raid earlier in the year.

He stated that he had instructed his supporters never to cause chaos as it is not how his party operates. He claimed that he was willing to give himself up to the authorities if there was a warrant against him.

He went on to say that when he came to power in 2018, he decided to promote Seerat-un-Nabi based morality and technology through establishing the Al-Qadir University to help build honest leadership. “A sponsor came and agreed to establish the university,” he added.

He stated that it was his intention to promote Seerat-e-Nabvi and build the university. He denied having any personal benefit from the university, and the whole drama was created based on a “fraud case”.

Imran Khan continued by saying that he inaugurated the university’s groundbreaking ceremony on May 15, 2019 as PM adding that the NCA case they [the government] were talking about surfaced seven months later in December 2019. “The PTI government was given choice that if it agreed to the confidential agreement between property tycoon and the NCA, the money will be repatriated to the country,” he added.

Otherwise, he went on to say, the PTI government had to approach the court. "We were told that we had wasted $100m in litigation so we decided to adjust the money to the SC. “SC is also a part of the country,” he added.

He accused the government of trying to create chaos and throwing PTI leaders and workers in jail. He also accused "unidentified persons" of firing straight shots at young protesters and instigating violence.

"Our supporters in Peshawar reported that they had never seen these individuals before. When they tried to stop them from causing trouble, they were attacked. The same situation occurred at Liberty Chowk in Lahore, where some individuals were instigating people. We observed unidentified individuals in civilian clothing present during these incidents, similar to what we had seen during the Wazirabad incident."

Lastly, he expressed his concern over senior journalist Imran Riaz Khan, who went missing from the airport as he was trying to leave the country yesterday, fearing he would be tortured.

He claimed to know his whereabouts and warned that the same people responsible for assassinating senior journalist Arshad Sharif would be held responsible if anything happened to Imran Riaz Khan.

Imran Khan also called on people particularly women across the country to join a peaceful protest against the government, urging them to step out of their homes at 5:30 PM today (Sunday) with hand-written placards that read "Haqeeqi Azadi" (true freedom) and "Aayin bachao, Pakistan bachao" (save Constitution, save Pakistan).

"I am particularly addressing the women because I am seeing a revolution in our homes," Imran said. "Stand with these placards outside your homes for just one hour, from 5:30pm to 6:30pm." He further said that this peaceful protest is aimed at demanding true freedom and saving the constitution.