July 13, 2023
ISLAMABAD – PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday again claimed that his arrest was inevitable and could happen as early as next Monday or the upcoming week, saying that he did not see himself being “out of jail for long”.
“I was expecting to be jailed this week but my lawyers really put up a great fight … but I have no doubt that it is just a question of time … whether it is on Monday or some other day next week … they are going to put me in jail,” the former prime minister said in an interview with Fox News.
After violent protests broke out across the country following Imran’s arrest on May 9, the government arrested several PTI leaders and booked the party chairman in numerous cases.
The PTI chief had earlier also expressed fears that he might get arrested.
During the interview today, Imran claimed he was being booked in a new case every day and the tally of first information reports lodged against him had increased to 180.
— PTI (@PTIofficial) July 12, 2023
“Unfortunately, right now we are facing the law of the jungle and this is the worst kind of persecution,” he lamented, adding that PTI workers across the country had been “picked up” and were being forced to quit the party.
“This sort of thing has never been done in Pakistan to political workers.”
Talking about his ouster through a no-confidence motion last year, Imran said it was “engineered” by former army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa “for an extension”.
The PTI chief alleged Gen Bajwa had “joined hands” with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and they “fed the US this bit that I was anti-American”.
“He actually had a lobbyist who was paid by my government without my knowledge … who was lobbying in the US regarding how anti-American Imran Khan was and how pro-American the army chief was,” Imran claimed.
He added that the PTI had now realised that their ouster was “engineered” by the army chief and not Washington.
During the 10-minute long interview with Fox News, the ex-premier also defended his foreign policy, which Imran called “non-aligned”.
“My idea was not to be anti any government, my idea was to get people out of poverty,” he stated, referring to Pakistan’s position in the Afghanistan war which “took a heavy toll on us”.
Imran also talked about the US exit from Afghanistan, lamenting the way the withdrawal took place. He added that he didn’t blame US President Joe Biden for not anticipating that former Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani “would take off in the middle of the night.”