LAHORE: Following an attempt by the Islamabad police to arrest Imran Khan for skipping appearance before the court in the Toshakhana case, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman wrote a letter to the chief justice to take notice of ‘threats to his life’ and ensure adequate security if his appearance before the courts was necessary.

In his letter, the former premier explained ‘critical’ circumstances —including an assassination attempt on his life — he was facing since his government was toppled in April last year and sought proper security or permission to use the option of video-conference for court appearances.

The PTI chief stated that ever since the removal of his government through a ‘regime change operation’, he had been confronted with questionable FIRs, threats and finally an assassination attempt.

Despite being a former prime minister, he stated that he has not been provided with proper security and was not allowed to regiter the FIR of the assassination attempt on his life.

Mr Khan said he was continuously maintaining that the incumbent PM, the interior minister and a senior intelligence agency officer were involved in the failed assassination plot. He stated that subsequent actions, including attempts to destroy the JIT report on his assassination bid lent further credence to his view with regard to the assassination plotters. “There are also clear indications of another assassination attempt being plotted on my life,” the PTI chief claimed.

Pleads for video link facility for court appearances

He said some 74 cases had been lodged against him and he was being made to appear in courts time and again. “I am chairman of the largest political party in the country and wherever I go massive crowd naturally follows me. This further aggravates the prevailing security threat. Right to life is fundamental right under the Constitution and there is a grave threat to my life,” Mr Khan explained.

Referring to his last appearance before the LHC, the former premier lamented that there was a total failure of official security and the same happened in Islamabad when he had to appear before different courts. “It is now abundantly clear that neither the State nor the govt has any intention of providing me adequate foolproof security for my court appearances,” he said.

The PTI chief requested the CJP to take action on the threats being faced by him from those in power. “One of my assassins, Naveed, has been allowed video-link facilities for his court appearances while myself, the target of the assassination, am being denied the same,” Mr Khan bemoaned.

Due to the prevailing threats and possible assassination plots, the PTI chief urged the chief justice, “I would request your Honourable self to take notice and ensure that adequate security arrangements be made if my appearance is necessary”.

He said there were precedents that in case of security threats video-link facility for appearance was provided. In view of severe threats to my life, he demanded that he might also be provided video-link facility for court appearances. “This will also prevent the massive crowds coming out spontaneously to show support whenever I have to make a court appearance,” he remarked.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2023

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