Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and former prime minister Imran Khan has claimed that the ruling coalition government of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) is the one behind the unrest of May 9, orchestrated to create a confrontational rift between the military establishment and the country’s “largest political force”.
Khan, whose party and himself have been in deep hot water since the military establishment and the ruling government took the rigid decision to dismantle PTI, its leadership and its supporters, for targeting sensitive military installations including the General Headquarters (GHQ), the Core Commander House in Lahore and other private/government properties, in an angry reaction to the arrest of Imran Khan from the Islamabad High Court on May 9, has spent over 24 hours within the walls of his residence in Lahore’s Zaman Park area, as the Punjab caretaker government demanded Khan to handover the suspected culprits behind the May 9 violence, who they claimed are kept in hiding at Khan’s house.
Khan’s residence was blocked from all sides by the Punjab police as heavy deployment of security officials soon surrounded his house, blocking all connecting routes and disallowing all PTI supporters and leaders from going towards the residence.
Speaking to mediapersons at his residence on Thursday, Imran Khan said that he had irrefutable evidence in videos and pictures that it was not his party workers who attacked, vandalised and looted the military installations, adding that his party workers did not carry out such attacks even when there were two assassination attempts on his life.
“There have been two assassination attempts on my life. When our people did not respond with violent protests and attacks on the military back then, why would they suddenly attack now? It is because they were not our people. It was a pre-planned strategy and plan to send armed men into PTI protests to provoke them all and lure them to attack military installations,” he said.
“I demand the formation of an independent judicial inquiry or an independent inquiry into what actually happened on May 9. And I will prove that it was PDM people who did this,” he added.
Talking about the Punjab government claim of the presence of wanted culprits hiding in his house, Khan said that if there are suspected people inside, the police should come with an arrest warrant or at least share the names of the people they are looking for, raising questions over the credibility and suspecting another attempt stage armed men as PTI people and showcasing them as being present inside the house.
Khan said that the current government has been trying for over a year to break his party to pieces and “end the only major political challenge they have in PTI and Imran Khan”.
“I don’t have much to say to the one who are leaving the party. However, I know that they are under severe pressure to leave the party,” said Imran Khan.
Khan, whose outspoken and loud anti-military and anti-army chief stance that many believe provoked and inflamed his supporters emotionally, led to the violent protests and unrest of May 9, triggered after his arrest in Islamabad, has now put him in serious trouble and has forced his party leaders to leave him high and dry.
It is being said that Imran Khan has himself to blame and his most recent change of tone and narrative in favour of the military establishment and target the PDM government, may be a realisation happening too late for his comfort.