ISLAMABAD: The incarcerated founding chairman of PTI and former prime minister Imran Khan on Monday warned the government that countrywide protests would be launched if the government would further increase power and gas tariff.

Pakistan’s economy could not be stabilised unless the government is formed in accordance with the public mandate, Imran Khan said while talking to the media at Adiala jail.

He was of the opinion that further taxation would destabilise the economy during the months of June and July. He said as most of the revenue collected through taxes went in debt service, investors were reluctant to invest in Pakistan.

Talking to the media about the proceedings in GBP190 million corruption case, Mr Khan said he would not seek a deal to leave the country like President Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He said Mr Sharif was being cleared in Toshakhana vehicle reference, whereas President Zardari was seeking immunity in this case. He said no one was seeking explanation from Hassan Nawaz who sold Rs18bn property to Malik Riaz, while NAB was preparing another Toshakhana reference against himself.

Regarding the graft case, Mr Khan said that the SC earned Rs13bn profit on the amount transferred from the account of Malik Riaz. According to him, the UK government froze Malik Riaz’s money for being suspicious transaction. If he had filed a suit before a civil court in the UK, the money would have stuck in the litigation for several years, he said, claiming that about 100 million dollars of Pakistani citizens was already stuck in court cases in other countries. This was the reason, he said, the cabinet gave a nod for an out-of-court settlement and the deal was kept confidential on the insistence of the UK’s National Crime Agency.

In response to a question about a show-cause notice issued to PTI firebrand leader Sher Afzal Khan Marwat, the founding chairman said that the notice was issued for violation of party’s discipline. He said Mr Marwat was advised not to violate party’s policy a number of times, yet he attacked party leaders every other day.

Besides, Mr Marwat made a controversial statement at a time when a Saudi delegation was visiting Pakistan, he added.

However, he also acknowledged Mr Marwat’s contributions to the PTI and said he had no issue with him if he observed party discipline.

Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2024

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