KARACHI: PTI Chairman Imran Khan claimed on Monday that his advance knowledge of the attempt on his life came from “connections with intelligence agencies that operate”, adding that most people who were doing so were appalled by what is going on in this country.
In an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson on Monday, Mr Khan said three bullets were removed from his right leg while some shrapnel was left inside his left leg and that it would take him “four to six weeks” to resume his activities after the Wazirabad assassination attempt.
Talking about the incident, Imran Khan claimed that there were two shooters and “maybe another one”. “There was this guy who fired the first volley ... then there was another volley [that] came in over our heads because we were falling,” he added, terming the attack a “planned assassination attempt”.
He also alleged that a cover-up of the incident was under way, saying that is why he had called for an independent investigation and for three people to resign — who Mr Khan claims are responsible for the attack: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and a senior intelligence official who he identified as Major General Faisal Naseer.
Asks why he can’t name those he suspects of attacking him, expects to be back in action in four to six weeks
“If my allegations are wrong then an inquiry would prove them wrong,” Mr Khan said. He questioned that could he, as the person who the assassination attempt was tried against, “can’t name the people I’m suspicious of who planned this attempt on me”.
When asked about the source of his pre-emptive information about the attack, Mr Khan referred to his term in power and said he had “connections with intelligence agencies that operate”.
“How did I get the information? From within the intelligence agencies. Why? Because most people are appalled by what is going on in this country. What is happening in Pakistan is unprecedented.”
Mr Khan also alleged that an “unprecedented” media clampdown was under way in Pakistan, referring to the details surrounding and leading up to journalist Arshad Sharif’s killing in Kenya. He also mentioned the treatment meted out to his aides Shahbaz Gill and Senator Azam Swati, alleging that they were stripped and tortured.
“Both blamed a senior intelligence officer who was responsible for their torture,” Mr Khan added. The PTI chief also claimed that “all efforts” were under way to somehow disqualify and exclude him from the political arena, adding that the failure of those attempts led to the Wazirabad attack.
“Two months ago, an agency produced this video that accused me of blasphemy,” he said, adding that his opponents had picked up and ran with it while he had said right then at the time that it was a “planned thing”.
Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2022