By: Shubham Ghosh
Imran Khan, the former prime minister of Pakistan, on Wednesday (15) lashed out at his country’s police saying their “real intent” was to abduct and assassinate him and that the plan to arrest him was a “mere drama”.
The veteran cricketer-turned-politician’s allegations came as unrest spread on the streets of Lahore over attempts to take him into custody.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief, who lost power last April following a no-confidence motion and escaped an assassination bid in November, penned the allegation on Twitter after his supporters blocked the cops’ attempts to arrest him from his residence in Lahore. Stones were thrown at the law-keepers who retaliated with water cannons.
Clearly "arrest" claim was mere drama because real intent is to abduct & assassinate. From tear gas & water cannons, they have now resorted to live firing. I signed a surety bond last evening, but the DIG refused to even entertain it. There is no doubt of their mala fide intent. pic.twitter.com/5LZtZE8Ies
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 15, 2023
Reinforcements were also called in the clashes between the two sides escalated.
“Clearly “arrest” claim was mere drama because real intent is to abduct & assassinate. From tear gas & water cannons, they have now resorted to live firing. I signed a surety bond last evening, but the DIG refused to even entertain it. There is no doubt of their mala fide intent,” Khan, 70, tweeted.
He also posted visuals of bullet shells saying they proved the police’s “mala fide intent”.
Khan also blasted the “establishment” for deploying paramilitary personnel to tackle his supporters and questioned the stand of “those who claim they are ‘neutral'”.
“Is this your idea of neutrality, Rangers directly confronting unarmed protestors & ldrship of largest pol party when their ldr is facing an illegal warrant & case already in court & when govt of crooks trying to abduct & possibly murder him?” Khan asked.
The politician, who gave Pakistan its only world cup in 50-over cricket in 1992, is sought in the Toshakhana corruption case.
Last October, the country’s election commission found him guilty of unlawfully selling gifts he received from foreign dignitaries during his premiership.
Charges were filed against him in an anti-corruption court which issued arrest warrant last week after Khan skipped summons.
The PTI supremo’s supporters came out on the streets in a number of Pakistani cities, including Islamabad, Peshawar and Karachi after he gave them a call to “come out”.
“The police have arrived to arrest me. They think that if Imran Khan goes to jail, the people will go to sleep. You have to prove them wrong, you have to prove that the qaum (people) is alive,” he said in a video message.
“You have to fight for your rights, you have to hit the streets. God has given Imran Khan everything. I am fighting your battle. I have fought all my life and will continue to do so. But if something happens to me, they put me in jail or kill me, you have to prove that you can fight even without Imran Khan,” he added.
Khan has also alleged that the move to put him behind bars is a part of the “London plan”.
According to him, an agreement has been signed in London to put him in jail, trigger the PTI’s collapse and end all cases against Nawaz Sharif, his predecessor.