Pakistan: ‘Allow me one rally and I’ll show them’, says defiant (former PM) Imran


Former prime minister and founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, expressed frustration and defiance during an informal media interaction at Adiala Jail on Saturday. The incarcerated cricketer-turned-politician claimed that the PTI is facing obstacles in conducting its election campaign, with restrictions preventing the party from holding public gatherings.

Khan boldly declared, “Leave me just three days before the election and allow me to hold only one public gathering, and everyone will see what we can achieve.” The statement comes as Khan voices concerns over the fairness and transparency of the ongoing election process.

Addressing the controversy surrounding the Toshakhana case, Khan asserted that all the gifts in the state’s gift depository were estimated based on a small shop owned by an Indian citizen in Dubai. He criticized the case, claiming that it relies heavily on the testimony of a single witness, who was cross-examined today.

Commenting on the valuation of items in the Toshakhana, Khan said, “The jewelry worth Rs18 million has been increased to Rs3 billion,” insinuating manipulation to favour certain individuals. He provocatively added, “The colonel sitting above must be listening,” hinting at an alleged influence on the legal proceedings.

Khan also raised concerns about the selective application of justice, pointing to his disqualification while the court decision was suspended and Nawaz Sharif was cleared of his conviction. He questioned the delays in hearing appeals against his disqualification and human rights petitions, emphasising the perceived lack of democracy in the country.

Expressing frustration with the judicial system, Khan stated that despite the Lahore High Court’s decision rejecting his nomination papers, no written order has been issued, creating uncertainty around the election process. He warned that the current conduct of the election could lead to political instability and negatively impact the country’s economy.

Referring to political rival Nawaz Sharif, Khan accused authorities of imposing a “fugitive” on the nation, lamenting the apparent breakdown of the rule of law in the country. Despite the challenges, Khan expressed determination to continue the political fight, asserting, “We will fight till the last ball.”

In a swipe at his party’s critics and those contemplating leaving the PTI, Khan confidently stated that the party’s vote bank remains strong, and efforts by the establishment to break the party have failed. Looking ahead, Khan predicted that people would join the PTI after the election is concluded.

Khan emphasised his commitment to peaceful political activities, stating, “I am a politician; I will do politics. I will not hold a gun in my hand.” He criticised the alleged manipulation of intra-party elections, referring to a Supreme Court verdict upholding the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision to strip PTI of its iconic electoral symbol of ‘bat’.

Khan expressed his determination to exercise his right to vote through a postal ballot, stating, “All this is being done only so that Imran Khan does not come back to power.”