Former Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan said he was mentally prepared to get arrested on Tuesday night.
In an interview with Al Jazeera amid the showdown between PTI supporters and the police over his likely arrest in the Toshakhana case, Imran said, ” I’m mentally prepared. I’m already that they would come in and recipe tonight because there’s a huge force outside. They have not just the police, they’ve got the rangers there too, which is the army. And it seems as if Pakistan’s biggest terrorist is holed up inside. So I think they are determined the reason why they want to rescue is not that they’re worried about rule of law, because the biggest criminals are right now sitting in government. 60 per cent of the cabinet is on bail on corruption cases.”
“It’s because they want to remove me from the electoral contest because they are petrified of the popularity of my party. It won out of 37 by-elections, and it swept 30 elections. So all opinion, according to all opinion polls, we would sweep this upcoming election and that’s why they want me removed from the scene,” the former Pakistan premier added.
This interview followed Imran’s call to his supporters to “come out” on the streets after police resorted to using tear gas shells and water cannons on PTI supporters outside Zaman Park.
In the interview, Imran also talked about his video where he asked his supporters to come out and fight for their “freedom”, saying that his request was not to meant to be taken as a signal to break out into violent protests.
Protest is part of the democratic process, the former premier added.
“Fight for their freedom means fighting for their fundamental rights, which means peacefully protesting what you believe, the constitution and the law of the land. What gives you the right to protest? Now, all over Europe, you have people in France, people protesting for pensions, in England, people protesting because of, you know, inflation and pay rises. So protest is part of the democratic process. Never in my 26 years of politics have I ever asked my workers ever to be violent,” Imran said.
Further, during the interview, Imran claimed that a bid was made on his life as the PTI is in a position to win the provincial elections in the country, and, it was for the same reason that the government was trying to put him in jail.
Imran ‘khan claimed he was facing threats to his life and will approach the Supreme Court for hearing cases at a safe place or allow his appearance via video link.
“I recently appeared before the court twice but there were no security measures during the proceedings. The government has claimed that there is no threat to my life,” the former premier said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)