Calls for independent probe into vandalism
Former prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan on Saturday fired broadside at the country’s military establishment for “jumping into politics”, suggesting that it should form its own political party.
Speaking to his supporters from his residence in Lahore’s Zaman Park, Khan vented out his frustration over what he called “baseless allegations” levelled by the Inter-Services Public Relations against him and his party.
“Never has ISPR said such things. You should be ashamed of yourself. You have jumped into politics. Why don’t you make a party for yourself,” Imran Khan said. “I am trying to restrain myself [here] as I am very angry at your allegations since you don’t know what you are talking about,” he added.
Imran Khan also clarified that the allegations were directed against a person who wanted to see a strong army. “I am not doing any drama here. My wealth is not hidden in some foreign country. I had 145 cases against me but I did not escape. Put me on ECL if you want as I am not going anywhere.”
The former prime minister further highlighted that he had been the recipient of the most charity because people trusted him. “You’re saying Imran is lying. You should be ashamed of yourself. I have been given the most charity because they trust me.”
Imran Khan emphasised the need for tolerance for criticism, saying that any society which criticises progresses.
Lashing out at the treatment against his party leaders and workers, he said that such crackdown had been carried out in East Pakistan, adding that such actions could have dire consequences. “You will not listen to me, but I advise you to think big. You should see where the country is heading.”
Khan called on judges to refuse orders from the “handlers” and choose freedom, urging them to question the legality of such orders and refuse to follow them.
“I ask judges to refuse to obey the orders of these handlers. Say I will not follow your orders. Under what law are you ordering me?” he said. “The time has come to choose freedom.”
Khan also urged media outlets to reject orders from them and follow the Constitution. He encouraged journalists to listen to their conscience and not be controlled by fear.
“I also ask the media to refuse their orders. Say to them that you will follow the Constitution. Follow your conscious. They only use your fear,” he added.
The former premier also called for an investigation into the protests and vandalism that occurred following his arrest on May 9, asking Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial to lead the investigation and personally chair the panel.
“I want investigation for the ransacking of government buildings but not from them (government). I want the chief justice to create a panel which he should chair by himself,” he said.
Khan also questioned the motive behind the protests, asking why people did not react in a similar manner when he was shot in Wazirabad. “In the Supreme Court, I came to know about the protests. When I was shot, why didn’t people react in such a way?” he questioned.