Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan reiterated his allegations of a foreign conspiracy behind his ouster and said he knew that the ‘match was fixed’ when a no-confidence motion was moved against him.
IMAGE: Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan gestures as he addresses supporters during a rally, in Karachi, on April 16, 2022. Photograph: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters
Addressing a rally in Karachi on Saturday night, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman sought to know from the people, including women, whether his government was a victim of ‘conspiracy or interference’, apparently an indirect reference to a top officer’s recent media conference that nullified Khan’s allegations.
“Karachi, I thank you from my heart. I’ve come to talk about some very special things because the problem is that of your and your children’s future. This conspiracy against our country … I want you to carefully listen if this was a conspiracy or an interference,” he said in a show of power in the shadows of the Quaid-e-Azam Mausoleum.
“Raise your hands and tell me if it was an interference or a conspiracy,” he added.
“I want to tell the nation that I’ve never been against any country. I’m not anti-India, anti-Europe or anti-US. I’m with the humanity of the world. I’m not against any nation. I want friendship with everyone but slavery with no one,” Khan said.
He claimed that the ‘conspiracy’ was in the works for the past three to four months as turncoats, who quit his party, as well as some journalists began having meetings in the United States embassy.
“A journalist told me that ‘a lot of money is being spent on us’. Thus, the conspiracy had been in the works for a while and then our US ambassador meets Donald Lu (US assistant secretary of state for south and central Asian affairs),” he alleged.
The former prime minister also continued to register his grievances against the judiciary and said he had never broken the laws of the land.
He sought to know what crime he had committed that the judiciary felt the need to open courts at midnight last Saturday.
“I created two of Pakistan’s biggest charity institutions. I created Shaukat Khanum and two universities. I am the only politician to have been declared sadiq and ameen by Pakistan’s Supreme Court,” he said.
Using cricket terminology, the cricketer-turned-politician said he knew the ‘match was fixed’ when the vote of no-confidence motion was moved against him.
“What pained me the most was courts opening at midnight. Why didn’t the judiciary take suo motu notice and get the cable investigated when the then deputy speaker gave his ruling on a foreign conspiracy and why it remained silent when an open market was set up and politicians were being sold,” he asked.
Khan had earlier quoted an internal communication by the Pakistan ambassador in the US, who in a cable sent to the Foreign Office, mentioned his meeting with a US official and the latter allegedly said the then prime minister was a hurdle in ties with Pakistan.
Khan also criticised his successor Shehbaz Sharif and said there were several corruption cases against him in the National Accountability Bureau and Federal Investigation Agency.
“It is an insult to our country that a person out on bail has become PM of the country while his son also out on bail today became the chief minister of Punjab,” he said.
The PTI leaders claimed there were a ‘million people’ at Saturday’s rally.