- Imran Khan’s bail extended in case against violence during protests
LAHORE / ISLAMABAD (WEB NEWS)
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan on Thursday urged Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial to look into four things including FIR of Wazirabad attack, Azam Swati video scandal and brutal assassination of Arshad Sharif.
Imran Khan addressing supporters as the party’s long march resumed from Wazirabad a week after he was attacked, said that the “plan” to assassinate him was first formulated in September which Imran said he had “unearthed in a public rally on September 24”. The PTI chief also said it was a miracle that so many people survived the attack.
Doubling down on earlier claims, Imran Khan held a senior military officer, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah responsible for the attack and said they had used “religious extremism” as a “cover to shunt off the blame”.
“For anyone harboring any doubts,” Imran Khan added, “you can tell that he had been told to say this when the attacker claimed he had done this alone”.
“The forensic [report] of the container has shown that there were two types of bullet, meaning there were two shooters,” he added, “so the whole plan they had was that [just like] Salman Taseer was killed by a religious extremist and the matter is sorted”.
Imran Khan also hailed Ibtesam – the young man whose quick thinking had saved the former prime minister – for his “heroic effort”. He also announced again that the party will “take lifetime responsibility” for the children of the victim who lost his life during the attack.
“Our march will not end,” vowed Imran Khan as he reiterated his commitment to the establishment of justice.
Continuing his criticism, the PTI chief said that the senior military officer was behind “what they have done to us, to the journalists, and what they did to Arshad Sharif and what they did to Azam Swati”.
“I am the former primer prime minister, the chief of the largest party of Pakistan and I have not been able to register my FIR” because the military officer’s name was mentioned, said Imran Khan.
“He is such a man who is above Pakistani law. DG ISPR says ‘it’ll be a disrespect to our military’; the military will be disrespected when it fails to take action on the matter,” said Imran Khan.
Meanwhile speaking to a delegation of journalists on Thursday, the PTI chairman lambasted the incumbent government, said he is not desperate to fasten his long march, but that the rulers in Islamabad are.
Imran Khan said that the leaders opposed the EVMs because they knew that he [Imran] will defeat them. “If I had to approach the establishment for help, so why I talked about the EVMs. I don’t need the support of the establishment, but the PML-N and PPP, added the former premier.
Slamming the PML-N supremo and former prime minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan said that efforts underway to ensure the return of Nawaz, adding that he [Nawaz] is fond of playing with his own umpires.
Continuing to take a swipe at the government, Imran said that rules are delaying the elections as they are feared of his [Imran’s] increasing popularity. Saying that he merely wants the transparent elections, Imran added that the conduction of transparent elections is the only solution to all the problems, which the country is facing.
Earlier, a large number of PTI supporters gathered at the site where former premier Imran Khan was attacked in Wazirabad.
The march was kicked off by PTI leader and former foreign minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi. He was flanked by other party leaders including Hammad Azhar, Senator Faisal Javed Khan, also among those injured in the attack on Imran, Asad Umar, Fawad Chaudhry among others. The party had halted its march following the assassination attempt.
Addressing party supporters, Qureshi said on Thursday that Imran Khan will address the march’s participants every day via video link and will join them in Rawalpindi, before he announced the party chief will be addressing the crowd shortly.
“Those who attacked the PTI government through conspiracy had thought that the party will dismantle when it will be out of power” he said, adding that the rally in Wazirabad was proof that the people were with the PTI and that the party “will stand its ground”.
Qureshi also said that “political analysts” had expressed reservations that Wazirabad was a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) heartland and that the march may not be successful there. “I ask you to tell me,” Qureshi said to cheering supporters “is this a PML-N heartland or a PTI fort?”
At the outset of the march, PTI leader Hammad Azhar maintained that the long march was “stronger than before” and will continue towards Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Deeming it nature’s work, he highlighted that “they” had tried to silence senior journalist Arshad Sharif, but now his truth was evident. He added that “they” tried to torture Azam Swati, but Swati has now become “a symbol of courage across the country”.
“These merciless cowards tried to kill Imran Khan, but today every home has become Imran Khan,” he said. Azhar said the “coward, conspirators must know that the nation is aware now”.
“Azam Swati’s criminals are the whole country’s criminals now. Arshad Sharif’s murderer has killed journalism in the country,” he stated, adding that soon Imran’s attacker will be brought before the courts.
Meanwhile Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s sons, Kasim and Suleiman Isa, arrived in Lahore on Thursday to meet their father after he survived an assassination attempt last week.
PTI Lahore’s Twitter handle shared a picture of the two announcing their arrival, adding that provincial minister Mian Aslam Iqbal received them at the airport.
The former prime minister’s children are from his former wife Jemima Goldsmith. The couple married in 1995 and separated in 2004. Both sons live with their mother in the United Kingdom but visit their father almost every year.
Meanwhile an anti-terrorism court on Thursday extended PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s bail till November 21 in a case against violence during protests.
A terror case had been registered against the PTI leadership — including party chairman Imran Khan and secretary-general Asad Umar — and 100 other party workers for alleged violence during the protests.
Protests were sparked across the country following the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to disqualify Khan and ruling that the PTI chairman is no more a member of the National Assembly.
Ten offenses, including a section of the Anti-Terrorism Act, had been added to the case registered at Sagjani police station on police’s behalf
The court also accepted the PTI leader’s request for exemption from court appearance on medical grounds.
Meanwhile, the court also accepted bail of PTI leader Raja Khurram Nawaz, restricting police from arresting him till November 14.