Pakistan: Fearful of second assassination attempt, Imran renews criticism of usual suspects


LAHORE: Amid an attempt by the Islamabad police to arrest him over the Toshakhana case, Imran Khan demanded a public trial while reiterating his claim that those currently in power were involved in the assassination attempt against him last year, as the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman stood his ground.

He addressed his supporters and loyalists on Sunday as a joint police team from Islamabad and Lahore failed to arrest the former prime minister in a case related to the purchase and sale of gifts given by foreign dignitaries while he was in office amid resistance from his supporters.

A court in Islamabad on Tuesday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for Khan in connection with the Toshakhana case.

Addressing the gathering at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore, Khan lashed out at members of the government, including Shahbaz Sharif, claiming they had stashed their ill-gotten wealth overseas and were given protection by former army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Khan also equated his cause with a holy mission, saying his “jihad for true freedom” would continue. He stressed he would not bow down to anyone and nor would he allow his party or supporters to do so.

The former prime minister also denied being behind the cases registered against Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leaders, while implying that the same was not true in his case.

He claimed that Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan, and “Dirty Harry”, an apparent reference to an intelligence official Khan has accused of masterminding the attack on him, were still in power and that another plan to assassinate him had been hatched.

“I attended courts in Lahore and Islamabad and there was no security,” he said, adding that his legal team was writing to the chief justice to take notice of the situation.

“It seems as though the ones who should be responsible to provide protection are the real danger,” he said.

Khan also praised their participation in the court arrest movement and called for the nation to confront the challenges facing the country. Criticising the current government, Khan said the country is experiencing its “worst time” due to a sinking economy and record-high inflation.

However, he also emphasized that he had not called the public to Zaman Park for his support, but to thank them for their participation in the court arrest movement.

He made clear that he had never “bowed before any man or institution” and would not allow the public to do so either.__Pakistan Today