PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday alleged that another “operation” would take place outside Lahore’s Zaman Park either today or tomorrow in an attempt to kill him.
On Saturday, hours-long clashes were reported between PTI workers and the capital police after the former prime minister arrived at the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC) to attend a hearing in the Toshakhana case. As Imran left his Zaman Park residence to appear before the judge, a heavy contingent of police also launched a search operation at his house.
“What is happening here is beyond my understanding,” the PTI chief said in today’s video address.
Referring to the attempt on his life in Wazirabad, he reiterated that he had predicted it earlier in his rallies. He alleged that the evidence of the incident was being erased, adding that the record of the joint investigation team (JIT) was also being destroyed.
“Now another plan has been hatched. I am telling everyone, the judiciary [and] especially Punjab police.”
He alleged that the police chiefs of Islamabad and Punjab, and their “handlers” had planned another operation outside Zaman Park.
“What is the plan? That there is another operation outside Zaman Park either today or tomorrow […] They have made two squads […] who will mix among our people, and then shoot and kill four to five police officials.”
He said that this would then prompt an attack from the other side which would open fire. He said that PTI workers would be killed in a Model Town-like situation before he would be killed in a manner similar to the assassination of Murtaza Bhutto.
“This is the plan. This will happen either today or tomorrow. I want to tell everyone. I want to tell the Punjab police that they will kill five of your people just for an excuse to attack.”
Addressing his party workers, Imran called on them to not take part in any violence. “Whatever they do, we will not do anything […] This time if they try to provoke you, you will not give any kind of reaction.”
Imran said he was ready to go to jail but did not want bloodshed. “That is why I am again telling workers to not participate in any violence.”
Later in the day, Punjab caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi said that that the provincial government had appointed an inquiry commission to investigate Imran’s claims.
“We want to ensure that such serious allegation be thoroughly investigated. And strict action will be taken either way,” he said.
Imran decries arrests of PTI workers
The ex-premier began his address by saying that he was going to talk about something “very important”. He said that a “meeting” would be held today where “a minority will try to take the majority out of the race”.
“Meaning what they will try to do is that the PTI is somehow not allowed to contest polls or they are somehow taken out of the election race.”
He said that the incumbent government was well aware of the fact that their days in politics would end if they went ahead with polls.
“But what I want to talk about is more important than this. Today, our workers are being rounded up,” he said, adding that he had not seen this happen before in any democratic setup.
He said that workers were being picked up in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Faisalabad. “It is as if PTI is such a big, scary party. A party of criminals that [workers] are being rounded up and put in jails,” he said.
The PTI chief said that he had gotten to know that 143 cases had been registered against him. He lamented that the majority of the cases registered against him were on charges of terrorism.
“I don’t care about my cases but the way our people are being arrested on false cases, we are now writing to all international human rights organisations” in this regard, he said.
Imran said that he wanted the judiciary to protect the party’s fundamental rights. He said that on one hand elections had been announced, yet there was a crackdown was initiated against PTI workers. “We try to take out a rally [but] we are attacked and cases were also registered against us only.”
Imran says plan to assassinate him was in place at FJC
Talking about the party’s powershow at Minar-i-Pakistan, he said that the PTI had wanted to hold it before Ramazan began but said that permission was denied. He said that now the court had granted permission and it would be held on Saturday (March 25).
“This will be a rally Pakistan will remember because the whole country will see where the nation stands. It will be a kind of referendum.”
Talking about last week’s clashes at the FJC, he said no other prime minister had been treated in this manner. “It took me five hours to get from the toll plaza on the Islamabad motorway to get to the judicial complex […] They had virtually closed down the motorway for just one man.”
He said that the workers accompanying him were held back at police checkpoints. “I was mentally prepared that they will arrest me that day.”
He said that the police deployed at the scene kept increasing and suddenly his convoy was teargassed in an attempt to “spread anarchy”. Imran said he reached the doors of the FJC with “great difficulty” when police officials started pelting him with stones.
The PTI chairman said he stood outside the FJC for 40 minutes to try and get in somehow. He also showed a video of the people gathered inside the complex, saying that a “plan” was in place to assassinate him in a scenario similar to what happened to Murtaza Bhutto.
Imran said that police officials later told him that na maloom afraad (unknown people) were present at the scene in Counterterrorism Department uniforms. He alleged that the footage from CCTV cameras was erased.
“The nation knows me for the past 50 years. How many times have I broken the law? A whole plan was made to murder me.”
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