ISLAMABAD: Drawing a parallel between current developments in Pakistan with the circumstances leading to the 1971 Dhaka tragedy, PTI founding chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan on Tuesday warned that the present situation could result in economic collapse, reminding the powers that be that countries and institutions could not survive without stable economy.

Sharing Mr Khan’s message during a presser at National Press Club after the party’s legal team met him in Adiala Jail, PTI Central Information Secretary Raoof Hasan said Salman Akram Raja, Intazar Panjutha, Shoaib Shaheen and Naeem Panjutha were among those who met the incarcerated ex-PM.

Barrister Raja told the media Mr Khan looked determined, though worried for the country and its people. “When you don’t give rights to the people, you cannot say the economy will grow. In 1970, army chief Yahya Khan wanted a hung parliament, but when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s party got a clear majority army held a fraud by-election in which 80 seats of Awami League were snatched as Yahya Khan wanted to become president,” he said, while narrating the PTI founder’s message.

“I want to remind Hamoodur Rahman Commission report that we are again going to repeat the same blunders which we made in the past. In 1970 there was London Plan and today again a government has been imposed through London Plan,” Barrister Raja quoted Mr Khan as saying.

However, he said, time and again he hinted that he was ready to talk to the military establishment, claiming that it would be in the best interest of the country.

On the occasion, Shoaib Shaheen said special prosecutors were not attending hearings in cases against Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi due to which proceedings were being delayed.

Intazar Panjutha said Mr Khan compared the current situation of Pakistan with 1971 and warned that it would result in economic collapse and when economy collapses countries and institutions do not survive.

Published in Dawn, April 10th, 2024

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