Pakistan: Imran threatens to take to streets after attack on PTI leader


Imran Khan, the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and former prime minister, said on Wednesday that he is aware of those responsible for the recent attack on party spokesperson Raoof Hasan.

A day earlier, the Hasan was attacked by a group of trans persons in the federal capital. He was struck in the face with a blade.

Following the attack, the perpetrators managed to flee the scene with ease. The PTI leader was transferred to a hospital for medical treatment. He was later discharged.

“We know who is behind the attack. This incident proves the system is being run through the use of force,” Khan said while talking to the media at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail. “Our patience is running thin. We will take to the streets in protest,” Khan warned.

He acknowledged the country’s fragile economic state as the reason for previously avoiding protests, but emphasised that the government would be responsible for any damage. “We refrained from taking to the streets due to the economic conditions. If any damage [to economy] occurs now, they will be responsible,” Khan asserted.

Referring to the ongoing National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law amendments case, Imran said that he has a “match” in the Supreme Court on May 30.

He also criticised the restrictions on PTI activities, noting, “Everything in the country is being controlled through fear. PTI is not even allowed to hold rallies.”

Regarding the economic situation in the country, Khan challenged current leaders to lead by example. “Shehbaz Sharif talks about tough decisions. Tough decisions start with leaders making sacrifices themselves,” he said, urging Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, and Asif Ali Zardari to repatriate their overseas assets.

Khan called for transparency in legal proceedings, suggesting all cases be broadcast live. “The nation should know who the real thieves are. If you want to proceed even with a treason case against me, I’m ready. I’m even ready for the gallows,” he declared.

Dismissing rumours of a deal with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Khan stated, “I met Nawaz Sharif with Chaudhry Nisar, but he thought my conscience could be bought with just a road.”

Expressing satisfaction over PTI President Pervez Elahi’s release, Khan remarked, “I’m happy for Pervez Elahi. He would have been released sooner if he had distanced himself from the party.”

Khan concluded with a criticism of US interference, stating, “The US is allowed to overthrow governments, but I am not allowed to expose their conspiracies.”