Pakistan: Fawad’s arrest part of plan to rig elections, says (former PM) Imran


Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Iman Khan on Wednesday termed party leader Chaudhry Fawad Hussain’s arrest “a part of plan to rig elections”.

In a televised address from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore, he said that PTI workers were being arrested and there are plans in place against his party, saying that the caretaker setup was also a part of this plan.

Imran said that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had no vote bank in Karachi but won the local government elections from there as it was a part of “the grand plan”.

Imran said that PTI expected judiciary to protect its fundamental rights. “I salute the judge who repeatedly asked to produce Fawad in court but he wasn’t,” he added.

Imran breaths fire at caretaker CM again

Questioning why the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) chose Mohsin Naqvi as the caretaker chief minister of Punjab, he said that it is the electoral body’s responsibility to hold free and fair elections in the country as per Article 218(3) of the Constitution.

“Did you not know about his background? Did you not know he had a major role in regime change operation [against PTI]? He was very active to oust us. His channel was also involved in propaganda against us.”

Imran said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had also conducted an inquiry against Naqvi and he had returned Rs3.5 million. He said that as opposed to the candidates given by the government, PTI had given “neutral candidates” with good reputations.

The former PM said that the current regime wanted to silence him, therefore, it was taking steps against his party. “What had Azam Swati done? What he tweeted was his opinion. They stripped him naked. Made an objectionable video of him,” he added.

“I do not fear jail. I fear nothing. I have seen death very closely. I believe in the almighty. I also ask others not to be afraid of prison,” he said and added that till the last day he is alive, he will keep fighting for the country.

Talking about journalist Arshad Sharif’s murder, Imran said that every kid in Pakistan knows he was the “most credible journalist in Pakistan”.

“I will fight till the last ball… I will fight against them till my last breath. I never fear jail. I am a free person [and] I will never accept slavery.”

Former premier said that there were two segments in Pakistani society and the interests of one, which was in minority, did not align with the country’s interests. “There are two segments of Pakistani society. One is corrupt and loots everything. They flee the country when it is in trouble. Stake of this segment is not aligned with Pakistan. But there is another segment which is in majority and its life depends on Pakistan.”

Imran said that he thought that the institutions will never back those who have nothing to do with this country. “But unfortunately they backed those who ousted our government. Just Google what our own institutions brought to the fore against these people,” he added.

Criticising the government for making a mess of the economy, Imran said that the way it is being handled, the system will stop working entirely.

“During our tenure, wheat was Rs75 today it is Rs135. Petrol and Diesel prices are low in international market today as compared to our tenure and more inflation is coming your way.”

The PTI chief said that Pakistan never had such financial woes as it is going through these days. However, he added the rulers were busy eliminating their corruption cases.

“Ask anyone, businessmen or salaried person how he is managing. Pakistan has system of oppression and injustice and we have to do jihad against it,” he said.

Addressing judiciary and the lawyers’ fraternity, he said that they should take a stand for rule of law. “There is no future of Pakistan as they (the rulers) are imposing the law of the jungle. We have no future. People are hopeless and already 0.7 to 0.8 million people have left the country in the last eight to nine months because there is no hope,” he