Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Wednesday claimed that the government devised a plan to conduct an operation inside Zaman Park "either today or tomorrow".
“They have formed two squads that will mingle with PTI workers and fire at the policemen,” Khan — who was ousted by the no-confidence motion in April last year — told his party workers and supporters via video link from his Lahore home where he has been recuperating since he was injured in an assassination attempt in Wazirabad on November 3 2022.
“Their plan is to kill people as they did in Model Town,” he also said.
It should be noted that in 2014, a scuffle between supporters of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and the police force claimed the lives of at least 14 people and left more than 100 others injured during an 'anti-encroachment operation' outside Idara Minhajul Quran in Lahore's Model Town.
“I want to tell the Punjab Police that five police personnel will be killed by them [the government],” he claimed, adding that his party was not looking for conflict.
The cricketer-turned-politician urged the PTI supporters and workers to avoid getting involved in any conflict “despite their [security forces'] repeated attempts to provoke you all”.
“If they come [to Zaman Park] my supporters should refrain from showing immediate reactions... let them come to me directly,” he said, claiming that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government is planning to kill him like Murtaza Bhutto — who was killed by police in Karachi in September 1996 during the government of his sister Benazir Bhutto.
Khan lamented that a tragedy is taking place in the country. “Our police and Rangers are being pitted against their own citizens.” To serve their own interest these people treat citizens like animals, he further said.
Referring to the events of Saturday — when Khan's house was raided by the police while he was at Islamabad Judicial Complex for his court hearing in the Toshakhana case — Khan said that as he got closer to the federal capital, he thought he would be arrested.
“However, our workers were stopped and separated from the rally at various places,” he said, elaborating on his previous assertions that a conspiracy was afoot to murder him.
“Then as we proceeded to the court, they started pelting us with stones. I stood at the door of the court for more than 40 minutes,” he said, adding that the stage had been set for his murder by isolating him from his supporters.
Alleging that there were "unidentified people" in uniforms of the counter-terrorism department (CTD), Khan said: “Their plan was to kill me, the same way Murtaza Bhutto was killed.”
He further said that yet another conspiracy was in the making.
“They will infiltrate our people and attack the police, creating an attack much like the Model Town incident.”
He advised his supporters to refrain from violence, “no matter how much they are provoked”.
The former prime minister, who had been ousted from the government in April 2022, said that he and his supporters were treated with “cruelty” to break their resolve.
Accusing the government of the economic crisis facing the country and calling him “thieves” and “traitors”, the deposed prime minister advised his supporters to stay firm against his opponents.
“Even if I leave, you have to stand in front of them without any fear,” he said.
The PTI chief further said that in the Minaar-e-Pakistan rally — now scheduled to be on Saturday (March 25) — he would present the nation with a plan on how the country can get out of the quagmire it is currently stuck in. “All of Pakistan will see who people stand with,” he said.
While slamming the incumbent government for calling a joint session of the parliament today (Wednesday), he said that it was a result of their fear of defeat in the elections.