Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan denied Saturday that his party workers were involved in attacks on military installations, including the Lahore Corps Commander House and the General Headquarters (GHQ), during the violent protests that gripped the country recently following his arrest.
In his first address since his release, Khan called for an independent inquiry to unearth the truth. The PTI chairman said that those who were escaping from the elections wanted to create unrest and chaos in the country, not his party.
Violent protests erupted in different parts of the country soon after the PTI chairman was taken into custody by Rangers personnel from Islamabad High Court (IHC) — acting on National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) warrant on May 9.
At least 10 people were killed and dozens of others sustained injuries during the days-long protests with internet services also remaining suspended for over 72 hours across the country.
After the supporters attacked army installations, the army said that May 9, 2023 — the day when chaos gripped the nation following Khan’s arrest — would go down in history as a “dark chapter”.
Addressing the nation via video link, the PTI chairman said that those who were escaping from the elections wanted to create unrest and chaos in the county but not his party.
Khan blamed the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif for attacking the judiciary. He maintained that the PML-N supremo “destroyed the judiciary”.
The former prime minister — who was deposed from office in April last year — thanked the judiciary for saving him from going to prison in “fake cases”.
On May 11, the Supreme Court declared Khan’s arrest in the case “illegal” authorities had been ordered to release him “immediately”.
The top court sent the PTI chief to the Police Lines Guest House and ordered him to present himself before the IHC, the same court which declared his arrest legal.
The PTI chairman Friday got blanket relief from the IHC as the authorities have been barred from arresting the deposed prime minister in any case till May 15.
Khan said he was against violence and vandalism, adding that his party always remained peaceful despite all kinds of provocations. The deposed prime minister slammed the establishment for “attacking” him as if he was “the biggest terrorist of Pakistan”.
In a single day, 15 criminal cases were lodged against him, he added.