Friday Nov 04, 2022
LAHORE: After being shot and injured in an assassination attempt while standing atop a container during his long march, PTI Chairman Imran Khan finally decided to break his silence and said that he had learned about the looming danger beforehand.
"I had already learned that there was a plan in place to kill me somewhere between Wazirabad and Gujrat," Khan said as he spoke during a televised address at the Shaukat Khanum Hospital in Lahore, where he is receiving treatment for his injuries.
At the beginning of his address, Khan started berating the incumbent government and lamented how his government was ousted through a motion of no-confidence.
"The government could have never lost the no-trust move, but they [the coalition leaders] used money to become successful," he said, adding that the PTI-led government also had the financial means to engage in horse trading but it refrained from doing so.
He said that when the PTI was in power, the then-opposition took out three long marches against the government but "we didn't stop anyone."
"During the last long march, police, upon the coalition government's orders, barged into people's houses at 3am and tortured people. They put them behind bars and tear-gassed peaceful protests in Islamabad."
"This is what happens when decisions are made in closed rooms".
Providing details of how "they" [government leaders and others] planned to assassinate him, Khan said, "they used similar methods they tried using against [former Punjab governor] Salman Taseer".
"They tried to accuse me of blasphemy to turn the public against me," he said, adding that his party was not created under the patronage of any military establishment and he came to power after 22 years of struggle.
He reiterated his previous statement and said that four people were planning to assassinate him, so he had filmed a video to reveal the names of those people.
"The tape, which includes the names of four people, will be released if something happens to me," the former prime minister had said in October while addressing a jalsa in Mianwali.
"I have been in the government for three and a half years, I know everyone in the institutions and agencies."
Khan further said that now, three people — including Rana Sanaullah, Shehbaz Sharif, and a major in the army — made a plan to assassinate me after they saw that the number of people in my long march was exponentially increasing.
He, therefore, urged his followers and members to continue staging a protest against the aforementioned individuals.
"Continue your protest against these three individuals until they step down from their posts," Khan said.
The PTI chairman said that when he was standing atop the container in Wazirabad, a burst of bullets was fired at his convoy once, so he fell.
"Then another burst of bullets was fired from the opposite side," he said.
Khan added that the man who confessed to shooting him said that he was an extremist but "that's not the case."
"This was all planned. We have tried to lodge a first information report but no FIR is being registered by the police," he said.
Khan also said that once he regains his health, he would continue his long march towards Islamabad.
Khan accused the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and said that the body was involved with the incumbent government to sideline the PTI.
"In the July 17 by-election, the ECP resorted to all sorts of rigging tactics," he alleged. "They employed all manoeuvres to discredit me, resorted to mudslinging, and filed cases against me; government machinery was used and the election body stopped the implementation of electronic voting machines (EVMs)."
"[Despite all their efforts, the PTI still won the elections]," he said.
The former premier added that the ECP was used by the coalition government to disqualify him in the Toshakhana reference and added that accusations levelled against him in the Toshakhana case were baseless as all the records were available in the Toshakhana.
"Despite knowing nothing could be stolen from the Toshakhana, the ECP disqualified me in that case because they wanted to create a level-playing field for Nawaz Sharif.
Khan added that he cannot be compared to the [Sharif family] which has billions of assets abroad and live in the most expensive apartments in London.
He stated that the party would approach the court against the ECP's decision to disqualify him, claiming that Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja was a "servant of the Sharif family".
Before beginning his address, Khan asked PTI stalwart, Dr Faisal Sultan, to brief the masses about his health condition.
The PTI chairman claimed that as against initial media reports, he sustained four bullets in his shin.
Dr Sultan displayed Khan's X-ray reports on a screen and highlighted the details of the injuries that the party chief sustained — including a fracture.