LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has claimed the police chiefs of Punjab and Islamabad alongside their ‘handlers’ have hatched a conspiracy to kill him as they are “getting serious to assassinate him”.

“The IGs of Punjab and Islamabad have constituted two separate squads, who will join the PTI workers and open fire on the police… to provoke an armed retaliation and eventually reach [inside the house] and assassinate me, in a day or two,” alleged Mr Khan in an address from his Zaman Park residence on Wednesday.

“The IGs and handlers have planned a Model Town-type murder,” the former premier alleged.

Police not to be provoked

In light of this alleged plan, the PTI chairman also issued instructions to his supporters asking them not to provoke the police at any cost. “If the police want to approach me with any warrant or for any other matter, let them approach me directly,” Mr Khan instructed.

“Even if I will be arrested and they try to take me to jail, I will go to jail happily,” he said, adding that he would never wish any harm on his party workers. “The incumbent government and its plans to kill me were failed and now they have become jittery and taking extreme measures,” he commented.

Asks workers not to provoke police, says will ‘happily go to jail’

Mr Khan urged the youth to make a promise of standing up against the incumbent government’s oppression even if he’s killed. “Put up a fight until the last ball because the government wants to create an environment of fear so that no one should stand up and question them about their wrongdoing,” the PTI chief explained and added the government should know that the movement would not be stopped.

“A few [people] sitting in the corridors of power and making decisions are the real traitors,” he alleged.

Judicial complex ordeal

Claiming that he has been issued contempt notice for not reaching the courtroom in the Islamabad Judicial Complex, the PTI chief addressed the Islamabad High Court chief justice and explained his ordeal from Lahore to Islamabad, particularly his five-hour struggle from Islamabad Toll Plaza to the judicial complex.

Neither my party workers nor the general public was violent, Mr Khan claimed and questioned the police violence against the party supporters. “I stood outside the judicial complex’s gate for 40 minutes,” he said, adding that he witnessed the rowdiness of “police, army and unknown people wearing CTD uniform” during this time.

“They had the plan to take my vehicle inside the complex, close the gates, create a violence-like situation, and kill me in a Murtaza Bhutto-type murder,” Mr Khan said, adding that he returned from the gate after signing the attendance register.

APTI gathering postponed

Only hours before the Election Commission of Pakistan postponed elections in Punjab for October 8, the PTI chief said the government was not allowing the holding of election rallies and public gatherings despite the fact that the elections were scheduled for April 30.

The former ruling party announced that it would hold a “historic” public meeting at Minar-i-Pakistan ground on Saturday (March 25) around 8pm.

Published in Dawn, March 23rd, 2023

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