LAHORE: Former prime minister Imran Khan on Monday advised supporters to remain peaceful even if he is arres­ted by the NAB authorities on Tuesday (today) when the Al Qadir Trust corruption case would be heard.

“I urge people to remain peaceful because if you get violent, they will get a chance for crackdown again. We have to always protest peacefully,” Mr Khan said during a session on Twitter Spaces.

The PTI chairman, according to Dawn.com, claimed the chances of his arrest were “high” even though he had secured bail in all cases. “I have all the bails required but the situation is such that they can arrest me again,” he claimed.

The former premier, however, said peaceful protest was a fundamental right and nobody could stop people from organising a non-violent demonstration even outside the General Headquarters.

Claims govt not interested in dialogue, crackdown was ‘pre-planned’ to derail talks

He claimed that his party had made many efforts to initiate dialogue with the government, but they were not interested in elections. “We made our team for negotiations, but they put our leaders behind bars. This means that it is pre-planned so that dialogue doesn’t bear fruit,” he added.

Mr Khan reiterated that he had no quarrel with the military. “But I have heard that there are differences from the other side, apparently, they have something against me. But I don’t know what that is, they would know better.”

According to the PTI chairman, the caretaker government of Punjab is a “proxy” of the Pakistan Democratic Movement and establishment. “When I get a chance, I will lodge cases against them and IGs. They can do whatever they want but they will have to refer to jails.”

‘Fascist PDM govt’

Mr Khan also blasted the “fascist government” and said the PDM government’s ongoing crackdown against the PTI and unlawful detention of PTI leaders, workers and supporters was a clear replica of Hitler’s policy, who used arson as a pretext to crush his political opponents.

In a statement, he said that on Feb 27, 1933, the German parliament building (Reichstag) burned down, resultantly the Nazi leadership and its coalition partners used the incident to claim that communists were planning a violent uprising.

As a result, Mr Khan said, emergency legislation was passed, which was commonly known as the Reichstag Fire Decree that abolished a number of constitutional protections and paved the way for Nazi dictatorship.

Moreover, he said the decree permitted the Nazi regime to arrest and incarcerate political opponents without specific charge to dissolve political organisations to confiscate private property. The PTI chairman reminded how arson was used by Hitler to crush his opponents, the communists. He said: “Similar frame-up is going on in Pakistan.”

Mr Khan accused the government of “blatantly” violating the Supreme Court’s order to hold polls to the Punjab Assembly, claiming it was doing so out of fear of losing elections.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2023

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