IT seems there is never a dull moment in Imran Khan’s life. First, it was a cabal of local and international players conspiring to have him thrown out of power; now, the former prime minister says he is in imminent danger of being assassinated. Tempting as it may seem to write off the latter as another political stunt, assassination threats must not be taken lightly. Mr Khan’s fears for his life have recently been reasserted publicly and have therefore caused a considerable stir among his well-wishers. Mr Khan has told supporters that he has even recorded a video naming those who should be held responsible if any misfortune befalls him. This video is reportedly in the custody of unidentified individuals and is to be released in the event of Mr Khan’s untimely demise. The former prime minister continues to be admired by many, and all this talk of mystery poisons, secret videos and foreign conspirators has prompted an outpouring of concern for his well-being.
It would appear that Mr Khan and company seem reasonably convinced that the threats to his life are credible. Rather than worry about them in jalsas, however, it would be more helpful if Mr Khan could formally communicate the exact nature of these threats and any supporting information in writing to security and intelligence agencies as well as the government. It is commendable that both the prime minister and interior minister have acted responsibly and proactively by offering the government’s support for a probe into the reported threats received by Mr Khan, as well as providing additional personnel and vehicles to secure his residence and movements. The government has made it clear that it will not object to a judicial commission to review the threats to the former chief executive’s life, and the PTI should take it up on the offer. These threats need to be immediately assessed and the findings reported to both Mr Khan and his supporters so that their concerns can be removed.
Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2022