LAHORE: Former prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan has said that the nation for the first time in the country’s history did not accept the “regime change operation” — a reference to his ouster from power through opposition’s no-confidence vote in April last year.
Speaking to representatives of foreign media in Lahore on Tuesday, Imran said he strongly believed that the next elections would be rigged, adding, “The officials involved in atrocities on the PTI workers on May 25 are being posted in Punjab”.
He pointed out that it was clear in the Constitution that elections should be held within 90 days of the dissolution of assemblies.
Speaking about the arrests of PTI leaders, Imran criticised the caretaker governments in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, saying that he has never seen such reprisals in the history of the country.
He added that the policy of former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa was continuing. “In the absence of rule of law the country could not move forward,” he added.
He said that the establishment was not a one-man show, adding that a new army chief brings his own policy. He claimed that on the insistence of former army chief Bajwa, the services of former ambassador to the US Hussian Haqqani and others were hired. “These people were used to lobby against me in America.”
He admitted that he committed a mistake by giving Bajwa an extension. “In fact it was a mistake so big that it was a blunder.”
He also blamed the coalition government for the economic meltdown and held it responsible for the devaluation of the rupee and increase in the prices of petrol and other things.
Speaking about Toshakhana case, the PTI chief maintained that the government has been trapped after the court sought for the details of the state gift depository which has not been submitted yet.
He denied any contacts with PML-N supremo and former prime minister Nawaz sharif, saying, “He wants me to be disqualified”.
Defending his recent announcement of launching ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ (fill the jails movement), he said that it was one way of staging a peaceful protest.
Imran said he believed that the current Afghan Taliban-led government was not against Pakistan.
“However, we cannot afford terrorism in the country.”