Tuesday, April 04, 2023
Web Desk

'Brand new social contract' needed to vest power in political institutions: Imran Khan

Ousted PM and PTI chief Imran Khan features on TIME's cover, talks about his future action plan in exclusive interview

Web Desk
PTI Chairman Imran Khan is photographed in his office at Zaman Park residence in Lahore in this undated image. — TIME
PTI Chairman Imran Khan is photographed in his office at Zaman Park residence in Lahore in this undated image. — TIME

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has said that a brand new social contract was needed to vest power in the political institutions, instead of the military.

The former premier shared these views in an exclusive interview with Time magazine. Along with the interview, the PTI chief has also made it to the cover of the magazine amid an increasing stand-off with the incumbent government.

The ousted prime minister will feature in May's issue of the magazine featuring the interview in which he shares his plan to return to power.

The first look of the magazine cover was released by TIME on their official Twitter account.

"Imran Khan has been ousted from government and faced an assassination attempt, but remains the most popular politician in Pakistan," the tweet read.

Khan was overthrown in a parliamentary vote of no-confidence, exactly a year ago. Since then, the PTI chief has been demanding snap polls with the pressure he exerts on the incumbent government via power shows every now and then with thousands of followers in attendance across the country.

In a bid to persuade the government into early elections, Khan took out two long marches last year, one of which saw an assassination attempt on the PTI chief in November.

“One bullet damaged a nerve so my foot is still recovering,” the former premier told TIME, adding that he has had trouble walking for a long due to the injury.

With even more outraged PTI leaders and followers, Khan alleges his opponents, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and others to be behind the attack.

He claimed that another assassination attempt had been waiting for him outside the Islamabad Judicial Complex, the first time he left his residence since the November attack to appear in a court on March 18. He, however, said that the bid was thwarted by the "intelligence agencies and paramilitary.”

As Khan continues to come hard against the incumbent government, he faces resistance in terms of raids involving the use of tear gas by Punjab police in riot gear at his Lahore residence.

“This sort of crackdown has never taken place in Pakistan,” said Khan in the interview. “I don’t know even if it was as bad under martial law," he added.

Khan said in the interview that it has never happened in history that a single man has "scared the establishment [...] as much as right now,”

“They worry about how to keep me out; the people how to get me back in.”

He, however, asks the government if they have the plan to steer the country out of the ongoing crisis. Khan said that the country's economy has "gone into a tailspin".

“We now have the worst economic indicators in our history."

In another argument to support his demand for polls, Khan asserted that the election could bring political stability, which according to him is "the starting point for economic recovery.”

When asked how he would get Pakistan back on track, the PTI chief said that a “completely new social contract” is required to enshrine power in political institutions, rather than the military.

Khan reiterated his idea of the State of Madina while speaking about his plan to turn the country into Islamic Welfare State.

Despite being disqualified by the election commission and over a hundred cases — involving allegations of corruption, sedition, blasphemy and terrorism — registered against the former premier during the past year, Khan remains the most popular politician in the country with thousands of diehards willing to take to streets on his one call.