LAHORE: Former premier and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has delivered his first address to the PTI workers from the Shaukat Khanum Hospital – Lahore after getting injured in a gun attack during the long march.
In his initial remarks, Imran Khan said that he received four bullets in the gun attack during PTI’s long march in Wazirabad and Dr Faisal Sultan will give a briefing about his injuries. Imran Khan said, “I was aware of an assassination attempt in Wazirabad or Gujrat. I knew that I would be targeted in Wazirabad or Gujrat.”
The former premier reiterated that a US under-secretary had threatened the Pakistani envoy during the PTI government to remove him from his office, otherwise, the country would face severe consequences. He alleged that the consciences of the lawmakers were auctioned to make the no-confidence motion successful. He said that the current rulers had thoughts that the nationals will hold celebrations after his ouster from Prime Minister’s Office but the outcomes were very different as they held massive protests.
He said that former military ruler Pervez Musharraf gave NRO to the politicians during his tenure who later looted the national exchequer for 10 years. He said that he went to the nation after being ousted from the PM Office. “We held several rallies with record attendance. A large number of participants joined the PTI long march on May 25. Our Constitution allows us to organise protests and long marches.”
Khan slammed the incumbent government for suppressing the voice of the nation by carrying out crackdowns against PTI workers and torturing participants including women and children of the long march on May 25. Imran Khan said that the opponents were expecting the end of PTI but the nation gave a strong reaction and took to the streets. He added that the nationals actively participated in the Punjab by-polls.
“State machinery was used in Punjab by-polls by then government as they were in power and the election commission was also backing them. ECP opposed the electronic voting machines (EVMs) as it is the solution to end the vote rigging.” He said that the current rulers were shocked after PTI won the majority of seats during Punjab by-polls. “They start threatening our people after Punjab by-polls. Media is controlled and journalists are threatened. Our lawmakers were threatened via telephone calls to force them to leave Imran Khan’s side.”
“After facing failures everywhere, they tried to technically knockout me. They attempted to disqualify me in the prohibited funding case and later in the Toshakhana case.” “The court had ordered the ECP to announce the verdict of the prohibited funding cases against PTI and PML-N together. However, the ECP did not announce the verdict of cases against the PML-N and PPP.” He said that Nawaz Sharif had demanded to compare his political competence with Imran Khan despite the Sharif family being convicted in corruption cases. “They are demanding a level playing field which means that they want to disqualify me.”
“ECP gave eight verdicts against us which were overturned by the courts when PTI challenged them.” The PTI chief announced filing a defamation lawsuit against the chief election commissioner (CEC). “I contested by-polls alone in nine constituencies across the country and got the victory on eight seats which is a world record for a politician. Instead of analysing the nation’s message, they tried to disqualify me.” Khan alleged that his assassination was planned behind closed doors.
PTI chief Imran Khan vowed to take to the streets once he has recovered from his injuries. “As soon as I get well, I have decided to take to the streets and will give the call for Islamabad,” he said, urging the nation to not compromise on their freedom. “An enslaved nation is not respected in the world. It can never progress.” He called on the people to take part in his protest and to demand the resignation of the three people he held responsible for the plot to kill him.
Imran has demanded the resignations of the three people he has claimed are behind yesterday’s assassination bid on him. “A nation isn’t free until it gets justice. All the three people involved [in the attack] should resign. Otherwise, the investigation won’t be able to proceed. You all have to come out,” he added. PTI Chairman Imran Khan urged Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa to act now to prevent the country from heading down the path of destruction. “If you don’t take action against black sheep. the nation […] will start breaking apart,” he said, urging him to put the country first.
PTI chief has claimed that if there was one party in Pakistan that could unite the country it was PTI. “If the military could unite the country then east Pakistan would not have broken away. Only political parties unite countries, the military helps.” In an address to the nation from Shaukat Khanum hospital, he said that “we didn’t learn from history”. “When I first set out for the march, I was told that they will kill me. At first, I wondered if they would really hurt the nation for their petty interests. “I ask the nation today, do we have to stay like this, or do we have to change our fate and become free? Sacrifices are needed for this.”
Imran has vowed to take to the streets once again after recovering from the attack on his life. He asserted that he did not care about his life and refused to remain under the “slavery of these thieves”. “As soon as I get well, I will give the call for the Islamabad and come out onto the streets,” he said, adding that Pakistan “wasn’t made for slavery”. Former premier Imran Khan has decried the treatment being meted out to him as a leader of the “biggest” political party.
He stated that his servants were paid to spy on him, adding that his phone calls were also recorded and leaked in violation of the Official Secrets Act. “Every tactic which is used against the enemy, was used against me.” He went on to say that institutions like the Federal Investigation Agency said that the had “orders from above”. “The nation is being destroyed like this.”
PTI Chief Imran Khan has said that the nation has finally stood up and now has two paths before it: a peaceful or a bloody revolution. “There is no third way. I have seen this nation wake up and this genie of awareness won’t go back in the bottle.
“Now decide if we can bring change in a peaceful way through the ballot box and fair and free elections or through chaos,” the former premier asked. PTI chairman Imran Khan has said that PTI tried to register a first information report (FIR) over the assassination bid on him but contended that everyone was “afraid because many institutions are above the law”. Narrating the events of the attack on him, Imran said he would have been fatally hurt if “two heroes” were not present during the long march.
“I salute martyr Muazzam […] and Ibtisam, the way he caught the attacker […] if it wasn’t for his bravery the attacker would have fired more bullets,” he said. PTI chief Imran Khan described the attack on his life in Wazirabad. He said he was on the container when a “burst of bullets” was directed at him, causing him to get shot in the leg and fall down. “Then a second burst comes, there were two people.” He said that if the two bullet sprays had been synchronized, he would not have survived.
“Because I fell down, I think he [the shooter] thought I had died and fled.” He noted that one suspect, claiming to be an extremist, had been arrested. “He is not an extremist. There was a plan behind the attempt [and] we will uncover it.” Former premier Imran Khan has alleged that the “government and its handlers” had planned to get him murdered in the same way former Punjab governor Salman Taseer was killed. “Firstly, they accused me of blasphemy […] they made tapes and released them and PMLN projected it, I knew who was doing it. “It is very easy to find out because this is a digital world. So first it was projected that I disrespected religion and then their plan was what they did in Wazirabad […] that a religious extremist killed Imran Khan,” the PTI chief claimed. Imran said that he had already narrated this plan to the public during a September 24 rally. “This [the attempted assassination] happened exactly according to the script.”