I was a ‘powerless’ prime minister: admits Imran Khan

  • PTI chief terms CEC ‘biased’ as only his party had ‘legal’ funding; claims

ISLAMABAD: PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday reiterated his claim that though he was the prime minister of the country, he did not enjoy power to run the country’s affairs independently.

“While running the country was supposed to be his responsibility during my time as the country’s chief executive, actually rule was of “someone else”.”

The former prime minister made the latest revelation during interaction with journalists in Lahore.

The PTI further claimed that had “half the power been given to him” in his three and a half years long government would have competed with the performance of Sher Shah Suri — the famed founder of the Sur Empire.

It is not the first time the PTI chief has insinuated that his government was not at liberty to call all the shots.

In an interview in June with anchorperson Sami Ibrahim for Bol News programme Tajzia, the former prime minister had admitted he did not enjoy absolute power, indicating that the actual centres of power in the country lay elsewhere and “everyone knows where that is.”

In the interview, Imran was asked to recall the events of the night of the no-confidence vote against him, who was issuing orders and who had impeded the cases against the PPP and PML-N leaders.

Centre responsible for ‘alarming’ Swat situation

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairperson Imran Khan has said that the ongoing “alarming” situation in Swat was a matter for the federal government and the PTI-led provincial government had been alerting the federal government for a long time.

The former premier’s remarks came in response to a journalist stating that the situation in Swat was bad and that the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa chief minister, a member of the PTI, had not visited the area.

Imran was talking to media personnel at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) following the hearing for his protective bail after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) booked him and several other PTI members in a prohibited funding case.

A day earlier, people in Swat staged massive demonstrations to protest against a militant attack on a school van that left the driver dead and two students injured.

The federal cabinet expressed serious concerns over the firing incident on the school van in Swat on Monday, and strongly condemned the incident which triggered mass protests against the regrouping of militants in the scenic mountainous valley.

At a time when thousands of people of Swat are protesting against violence and calling for peace in the region, the cabinet via the official statement merely expressed concerns and condemned the incident without expressing solidarity with the people or its resolve to take concrete action against those challenging the writ of the state.

‘Only PTI had legal funding’

During the media talk outside the court today, a reporter questioned if Imran believed the incumbent coalition government would succeed in arresting him, to which he said “maybe”.

In response to the claims that the PML-N would hunt him down, Imran Khan said that he had “more stamina than the Sharifs”.

Commenting on the prohibited funding case, the PTI chief maintained that only one political party had legal funding and that was “Tehreek-e-Insaaf”. He added that the funding for other political parties was fraudulent.

“It is a pity that the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) is not bringing forward the funding of other political parties”, he said, alleging that the CEC was “biased” and a man of the federal government.

He highlighted that the high court had ordered that all fundraising cases should be heard together.

“If the Election Commissioner brings up the funding of other political parties, it will be apparent as to whose funding is legal”.

Prior to the IHC hearing his bail petition, Imran was asked what would happen if he was not granted bail.

“Jail”, the PTI chief replied, emphasising that he was “ready” to go to prison.

Audio leaks

A reporter proceeded to ask Imran if he objected to his audio being recorded or released. Imran replied that surveillance of premiers took place all over the world, but “targeted recording” did not.

He further stated that intelligence agencies had surveillance, but it was their job to protect them and not to tap the phone and release recordings.

“Telephones are taped but the recording being released is a national security issue,” Imran said.

When asked who he believed was leaking the audios recorded at the Prime Minister’s Office, the ousted premier said that everything would be revealed in the investigation.

“I have my doubts. The truth will be exposed before the nation”, he added.

Bail granted

The IHC granted the PTI chief protective bail earlier today after he filed a plea for the bail to avoid arrest as the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had booked him in a prohibited funding case.

According to the high court’s orders, Imran was granted bail until October 18 for a bond of Rs5,000. The IHC also barred the FIA from arresting him.


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