- “This is my army, my Pakistan,” says PTI chief.
- Imran Khan “mentally prepared to be arrested”.
- Remarks came after ISPR’s warning against maligning military.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Tuesday referred to the Pakistan Army and the country as his own stating he doesn’t “need to lie”.
“This is my army and my Pakistan. I don’t need to lie,” the PTI chief said in a video statement shared on PTI’s social media channels, before leaving for the federal capital to attend hearings of his bail applications for two cases against him at the Islamabad High Court.
Khan comments came a day after the army rebuked him for hurling “irresponsible and baseless allegations” against a senior military officer, who is currently serving in the armed forces.
“[The] chairman PTI has levelled highly irresponsible and baseless allegations against a serving senior military officer without any evidence,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director-General Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry said in a statement, as the politician continued his tirade against the establishment.
The military spokesperson said the politician should refrain from making baseless allegations and warned that if such a trend continues, the army had the right to take legal action.
Following an attempted assassination attack on him in November last year, the former prime minister — who was ousted from office through a no-confidence motion in April 2022 — claimed that a senior military officer, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah were behind the attack, all of whom rejected the allegations. Khan also did not provide any evidence to the authorities so far.
Commenting on the likelihood of going to jail, the PTI chief said: “If someone has a warrant, they should directly bring it to me. Bring the warrant, my lawyer will be there. I’m ready to go to the jail myself.”
The former premier, while demanding that he be approached through a warrant, urged against staging any drama.
“There is no case against me. I’m mentally prepared to be arrested. If I have to go to jail, I’m ready,” Khan said.
The cricketer-turned-politician said that the nation knows him for the last 50 years.
“I am currently the head of the country’s largest party.”
Section 144 imposed prior to Khan’s arrival
Imran Khan is scheduled to appear for a hearing on his bail applications at the IHC, which will take place at 2:30pm.
Ahead of Khan’s arrival at the court, Section 144 has been imposed in the federal capital and Islamabad Police have made strict security arrangements, closing the roads around the IHC for general traffic.
Under Section 144’s restrictions, any type of gathering is deemed illegal.
“The G-10 turn and Aun Muhammad Rizvi road will remain closed,” the Islamabad Police said.
The registrar’s office, too, has issued a circular for security arrangements.
According to the registrar’s circular, entry of lawyers and journalists in courtroom number one will be through special passes, while the judicial staff and court’s employees will be exempt from special passes.
Only 15 lawyers will be allowed to go to the courtroom with Khan, as per the circular. Whereas, 10 lawyers will be permitted from the Attorney General for Pakistan and Advocate General for Islamabad’s office.
Meanwhile, 30 members of the Islamabad High Court Journalists Association (IHCJA) will be able to enter the courtroom.
The administration has been asked not to stop those with special passes and department cards from entering the court’s premises. Those possessing the special card will be allowed to enter courtroom number one, the circular read.