Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has accused the military and its intelligence arm, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), of openly trying to crush his political party and throw him in jail to prevent him from winning the next elections.
Speaking in an interview on Saturday night at his heavily fortified home in Lahore, Khan cited government and military pressure to arrest his supporters, seeking to destroy his Pakistani party Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ahead of a vote. which must take place at midday. -October.
It’s completely the establishment, the former cricketing hero said when asked who was behind the crackdown. The establishment obviously means the military establishment, because they’re really open now – I mean, it’s not even hidden now – they’re just out in the open.
Pakistani authorities have announced they want to hold accountable all senior figures and politicians who were complicit in attacks on military buildings after Khan was briefly detained in May on corruption charges that led to deadly clashes.
Authorities have launched proceedings to prosecute dozens of figures, including senior Khans PTI party officials, suspected of involvement in the protests before a military court – usually reserved for the military or those labeled as enemies of the state .
The former prime minister, who is now well ahead of his rivals in popularity polls, has denied accusations against his supporters and senior PTI officials over the attacks.
He said the attacks were a false flag operation launched by the military and intended to target him. He accused the government of using the incident as a pretext to carry out an unprecedented crackdown on his supporters.
Khan, who had previously hinted that the military was behind the crackdown on his party, said in his latest interview that the military was to blame.
He bluntly accused powerful Pakistani army chief Asim Munir of being obsessed with his sidelining, saying he had no doubts he would end up being tried by a military court and thrown in jail by him .
I think he may have a grudge because I asked him to step down as ISI chief in 2019, Khan said.
Munir was later promoted to army chief by Khan’s successor, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
It’s the only way they can put me in jail, Khan said. I have absolutely no doubt that the military courts are for me, said Khan, who is out on bail.
Pakistani military courts reportedly show disregard for due process and lack transparency, using coerced confessions to execute offenders after unfair trials.
Last April, Khan was ousted from office in a parliamentary vote. He claims his ouster was orchestrated by Pakistan’s top generals. The year-long standoff between the popular cricketer-turned-politician and the country’s powerful generals came to a head when buildings and military assets were ransacked last month, allegedly by Khan’s supporters.
He survived an assassination attempt last year when he was shot in the leg at a political rally.
After coming out of power, Khan accused an unnamed foreign power – in a clear reference to the United States – of financing a plot to overthrow his democratically elected government.
The ex-prime minister said the foreign power sent millions of dollars to opposition parties to launch a no-confidence vote against him in parliament.
More than 100 lawsuits have been filed against Khan by the government since he was removed from power after he lost a vote of confidence in parliament.
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