Imran pins hope on CJP Bandial to conduct fair probe into turmoil

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan said Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial should constitute a bench to investigate the vandalism during PTI’s protests to unearth the “real” perpetrators.

In his first address a day after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had granted him relief in multiple cases following the Supreme Court’s declaration of his arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case as “illegal”. Soon after his arrest, the PTI staged violent protests across the country with reported attacks on Lahore’s Corps Commander House and the Army’s General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi. The whole episode was compounded by the law enforcement agencies’ arrests of key PTI leaders including Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, and Fawad Chaudhry.

Addressing via video link, he claimed that the PTI did not launch the attacks on security installations. He said when two ministers tried to block protesters in KP, they tore down their clothes, adding question who they were. “The same “strange people” were inciting people at Lahore’s Liberty Chowk,” he added. It should be investigated, he said, as he never instructed his party workers to do so.

He urged people to come out at 5.30pm on Sunday with placards stating “Real Freedom”, and “Save Constitution, Save Pakistan”. “Take out an hour from your life to change the destiny of your country,” he added.

Mr Khan said he would start election campaign from Muridke on Wednesday. “The PTI wants to come to power after winning the elections,” he added.

PTI chief’s stance on Al-Qadir Trust corruption case

PTI chief went on to say that a man who had been known for 50 years without a criminal case was dragged and slapped with 145 cases in a year. “Not even a big criminal can commit 15 crimes in a day”, he added.

Contending the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case against him, he said when he came to power in 2018, he decided to promote Seerat-un-Nabi based morality and technology through establishing the Al-Qadir University to help build honest leadership. “A sponsor came and agreed to establish the university,” he added.

Mr Khan continued by saying that he inaugurated the university’s groundbreaking ceremony on May 15, 2019 as PM, adding that the NCA UK case they [the government] were talking about surfaced seven months later in December 2019. “The PTI government was given choice that if it agreed to the confidential agreement between property tycoon and the NCA, the money will be repatriated to the country,” he added.

Otherwise, he went on to say, the PTI government would have to approach the court. “We were told that we had already wasted $100m in litigation, so we decided to adjust the money to the SC. “SC is also a part of the country,” he added.

Let me tell you what a trust and trustee was, he said. “Trustee does not take any money or pay out of trust,” he enlightened. He added her [Bushra Bibi] as a trustee because, he said, he had learnt Seerat from her.

He said what ired him the most was the treatment they meted out to women during protests. “An honorable person will never do this,” he added. He alluded that they ahd thrown all the party leadership behind bars. On top of that, media was also censored, he added, and started calling us anarchists.

Imran responds to DG ISPR

Responding to DG ISPR, Mr Khan said he represented Pakistan when the DG was not even born. “You should learn who backed the Pakistan Army when the world was maligning the country amid Osama Bin Laden’s fiasco,” he added. You should have a record check, he urged the DG, on Army’s ranking in PTI’s tenure too.

He went on to say that he did not use ill words for COAS. “How could you [DG ISPR] level allegations against me,” he asked.

PTI chief said he was not responsible for downgrading the country’s economy. “If I criticise someone, it means I want reforms,” he added.