‘Plot to kill me hatched,’ Imran Khan tells charged crowd in Sialkot

— Says he has recorded video naming ‘all conspirators’

SIALKOT: PTI Chairman Imran Khan Saturday claimed he had information of an assassination plot to kill him and he had recorded a video about his possible assassins and the characters behind the “conspiracy” against his government.

“The video has been kept at a safe location and if something happens to me, it will be released,” said Imran Khan while addressing a huge public gathering here.

“They (without specifying) have deiced to kill Imran Khan. And this is why I have recorded this video as I don’t consider what I do as politics, but this is jihad to me,” the PTI chairman said.

The ousted prime minister, in his address to the Sialkot jalsa, said a “conspiracy” was being hatched to take his life — and despite knowing about it earlier, he has now enough evidence to confirm it.

Khan said he has named everyone — the people who were involved in the “conspiracy” abroad and at home. “I have said in the video that the names of every person who conspired against my government are etched on my heart.”

The PTI chairman said the reason behind his video was that in Pakistan, powerful people are not held accountable, thus, through this video, he will expose everyone who went “against the country’s interest.”

Khan said that during his tenure, he wanted to hold the corrupt politicians accountable, but the “powerful people” who could do that have now accepted corruption as a norm.

The ousted prime minister urged people to come out against the government and support the PTI as if they do not do this, “you will have no future”.

Khan who has held a series of rallies across different cities of Pakistan, including Karachi, Mianwali, Lahore, Peshawar, and Jhelum, as he readies his party against the government ahead of the Islamabad march.

Khan said the judiciary took a good initiative by taking a suo motu on the night of the no-confidence vote and opened the gates of the courts.

The PTI chairman told the judiciary that Rs24 billion corruption cases were filed against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz, and his brother, Salman Shahbaz.

“So tell me a country where the [authorities] make cases against you and when you come into power, you remove all those officials who were investigating the cases against the corrupt politicians,” Khan said.

He paid tribute to former Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) director Dr Rizwan, who was bold enough to continue investigating corruption cases against the “Sharif mafia”.

But when the PML-N came into power, “Dr Rizwan was pressurised; Hamza Sharif threatened him and Dr Rizwan came under severe pressure, had a heart attack and passed away”.

Khan claimed that another FIA official, Nadeem Akhtar, also suffered a heart attack yesterday. “I want to ask a question: the officers who investigate the cases of mafias are under severe pressure, how is this possible? Where are my courts? It is your job to ensure they are safe.”

The PTI chairman told the judiciary that the institutions were being “destroyed” in front of their eyes, and if the condition of the institutions deteriorates, then the country cannot survive.

The Sialkot jalsa is being after heightened political activity took place in the wee hours of Saturday as the Christian community protested against PTI’s initial rally venue.

At the Christian community’s complaint, the police vacated the venue and as some PTI workers and leaders intervened, they were arrested in the process.

The PTI then changed the venue of its public gathering from CTI ground — a property of the Christian community — to VIP Ground in Sialkot as it had not taken prior permission from them for the rally.

Following this, PTI leaders and workers, including Usman Dar, were released.

Reacting to the Sialkot police and local administration’s action against PTI workers, the party chairman said that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s party was an equal “coward”.

Khan, slamming the government, said that when PTI was in power, it did not stop the then-Opposition from holding long marches, rallies, or sit-ins.

“Every three months, they [PML-N would come to Islambad] to oust our government. Biggest disease Asif Ali Zardari and the person who sells diesel permits, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, were also with you then,” Khan said.

Khan said that his party has always remained peaceful, but warned Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and the government that if they resort to violence, then they would “not get any place to hide”.

Moving on, the ex-prime minister Khan said after the first independence struggle, that led to the creation of Pakistan, the nation was struggling for “real independence” for the second time.

Turning his guns on Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Khan told the PPP chairman to remember that foreign agencies were aware of where “his bank accounts are”.

“You will not be able to look them in the eyes and speak,” Khan told Bilawal.

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